Welcoming the announcement of 14-point “Future Roadmap” by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar to improve the economy and make Pakistan globally a competitive country, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to start taking practical measures to ensure implementation of the roadmap in letter and spirit to achieve fruitful results for the country.
ICCI President Muzzamil Hussain Sabri said that government has announced some laudable targets in the future roadmap which include achieving over seven percent economic growth, increasing forex reserves to $ 22 billion, investment-to-GDP ratio to 20 percent, industrial sector growth by 8 percent, tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 percent, exports to $32 billion and spending 4 percent of GDP on education and health sectors by 2018 to improve the living standards of the people and business community fully supports these measures to strengthen the country’s economy.
However, he said that the ruling party had also announced many good targets in its manifesto like reviving the closed industrial units, ensuring steady supply of energy to industrial hubs, making available ample credit on low interest rate to private sector, reducing bureaucratic procedures to speed up decision making, developing SMEs clusters at districts level, encouraging regional trade, making larger investment in human capital, creating Ministry of Energy to focus on energy and bringing reforms in Discos & Gencos etc. However, no visible measures have been taken so far, even after the lapse of more than one and a half year to realize these objectives.
Sabri said the trend of making good announcements would not steer the country out of current difficulties and it is high time that government should start taking practical measures to make progress to achieve its targets. He said many governments in Pakistan set great targets, but never took concrete steps to achieve the same. The result is that our economy is still facing many problems including energy shortage, swilling circular debt, falling investment and exports, rising poverty and unemployment, low revenue collection, growing public debt and slump in business activities etc.
Sabri said it was high time that the government should reset its priorities and give top most attention to overcoming energy crisis, promoting business friendly environment, bringing urgent reforms in power sector, developing a fair taxation system and giving enhanced role to the private sector in the economic development of the country.