Finance Minister, Mr. Rana Afzal, while addressing Exporters yesterday promised to resolve the issues faced by exporters, while vowing to repay the promised sales tax refunds and to bring down the corporate tax rates. The Minister also took notice of the current account situation which has been deteriorating with every passing day, the upcoming IMF payments, amnesty scheme and other macroeconomic developments.
The Finance Minister yesterday asked exporters to contribute and help in increasing country’s exports which have lagged in the last few years. He, while taking stock of Exporters’ grievances said that, “the Industrialists are worried about increasing impute costs due to higher LNG prices in Punjab”.
Furthermore, he also vowed to pay back the promised tax refunds, mentioning that “Sales Tax refunds were supposed to be made by 15th February, however, we got stuck in the Financial Action Task Force ruling.” He also quashed any rumors suggesting that there have been some changes made in the sales tax refund policy, “there has been no change in refund policy, it has only gotten delayed”.
The government plans to make amendments to the tax rate during the amnesty scheme, which will allow Pakistan’s expatriates to invest in Pakistan. He said that, “Corporate Taxes are to be brought down from 30 percent to 20 percent”.
Pakistan was recently included in the ‘gray-list’ by the France based intra-governmental body – Financial Action Task Force – which monitors the member countries’ ability to take steps against Money Laundering and Terror Financing.
He also said that foreign investors will increase investment in Pakistan once the power and security situation improves. He said that, “Foreign Investors have come to Pakistan for the first time in decades after improvements in power sector, during the next five years the nation’s power capacity will be significantly higher.”
“Revenue Collection increased by 20 percent, as there have been significant improvements in GSP+ scheme during the last three years” he further mentioned.
He said that the coming few months are going to be extremely tough, “By the end to June, 2018 repayments to IMF will amount to 3 billion dollar.”
“We must take steps to prove the current account situation, because of less exports country facing shortfall in forex earnings. Pakistan’s imports during the FY 2017 reached at $ 55 billion most of major imports were concentrated in Power Generation and Machinery.”
He also said that “we will not leave problems for the coming government”.