Experts call for long-term plan to reform economy


The economists on Thursday urged that the budget for the fiscal year 2014-15 should be formulated considering long term restructuring of the national economy.

“The goals and targets should be set keeping in view the grand national design and with a realization that a single budget alone cannot be enough”, the economists unanimously agreed in a pre-budget seminar ‘State of Pakistan’s Economy and Federal Budget 2014-15’, held at the Institute of Policy Studies.

The event, which was chaired by former federal secretary Masud Daher, provided an in-depth analysis of the declining economic situation of Pakistan, the reasons behind this ironic state and the recommendations for the future to build upon.

In his keynote speech, Sakib Sherani, former economic advisor of ministry of finance stressed that the country need urgent economic structural reforms, especially in the area of tax collection.

He said that Pakistan’s economy was operating far below its potential mainly because of inefficient tax mechanisms, due to which, the tax revenues of the country have become stagnant and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) captured a very little tax percentage of the total GDP growth.

He viewed that one budget could not resolve all the problems, suggesting that the upcoming budget should be a part of the three-year grand design, where the emphasis should be laid on higher tax coverage with lower tax rates.

He also suggested that the subsidies offered by the government should be driven by investment rather than the consumption.