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Finance minister calls for focus on long-term planning


ISLAMABAD:

Long-term planning is vital for achieving sustainable and all-inclusive economic growth, said Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin.

Chairing the third meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on Saturday, he highlighted that Prime Minister Imran Khan restored the body with an objective to draft concrete proposals for sustainable economic growth through comprehensive planning across major sectors of the economy. He added that all stakeholders would be taken on board prior to policy approvals.

Read: Tarin defends ‘budget of hope’ in concluding NA session

“The underlying rationale is to secure the future of coming generations of Pakistan,” Tarin added.

During the meeting, four sub-groups delivered presentations to the participants related to their respective sectors ie state-owned enterprises and privatisation, energy, domestic commerce and price stability.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood Khan gave a briefing on price stability which included short term, medium-term and long-term proposals for stabilising commodity prices in the country.

He drew comparisons between product prices in local market and other countries in the region in current and historical perspectives.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Federal Minister for Industries for Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar gave their valuable input on the topic.

Farooq Rehmatullah, a private member, gave a presentation on energy (power) sector and showcased global, regional and local trends in the refining industry.

He also offered recommendations for introducing sustainable solutions to streamline operations from downstream oil to marketing sectors.

Rehmatullah stressed upon resolving the challenges present in liquefied petroleum gas and exploration and production sectors and called for exploring renewable energy resources of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Sultan Ali Allana talked about state-owned enterprises (SOEs). His presentation emphasised on the importance of continuous review of portfolios of SOEs and measures to improve management of the public companies.

Read more: Govt to retain power to arrest tax evaders: Tarin

Zaid Bashir discussed domestic commerce sector and emphasised upon enriching and reviving the documented/ integrated sectors and realising the true potential of e-commerce by organising the retail sector. He was of the view that this move would increase the contribution of e- contribution to the national exchequer.

He suggested tax credit on enlistment of companies and introducing incentives for induction of women in the workforce as part of medium-term plans.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2021.

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