Miftah says privatisation should be top agenda for upcoming elections

  • Says tax amnesty scheme introduced to give tax evaders a chance to declare their undeclared wealth

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Miftah Ismail Monday said that privatisation should be at the top on the agenda of all the political parties’ manifestos for forthcoming general elections and whoever comes in power should have the mandate to freely implement privatisation reforms agenda without unnecessary opposition.

Speaking at a high-level Pre-budget Symposium-2018 organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with FES Pakistan, Dr Miftah Ismail said that to fight poverty significantly, Pakistan has to grow at a rate of 8 per cent. “For that, we have to change the way we have been doing in the past,” he said, adding that the current governance model is not measuring up to the expectation of the people, which requires changes.

“Under tax amnesty scheme, we are giving the tax evaders a chance to declare their undeclared wealth,” he said, adding that with the help of NADRA, we have identified and prepared a list of tax evaders, especially in the real estate and hoping to have a large number of evaders into the tax net.

We are enabling a system in which only those can buy properties or plots who are tax filers, otherwise, one cannot buy any piece of land, he added.

Speaking later, Planning Commission of Pakistan Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz said that owing to CPEC related activities, improved energy security and law and order situation, “we are hoping to have more than 6 per cent growth rate this year”.

“We have increased the development budget portfolio by three times in last five years”, he said, adding that the development budget was very much inclusive in terms of human and people-centric development. “To sustain growth trajectory, we may require more investments in basic infrastructure development,” he added.

SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayyum Sulehri on the occasion said that at the moment when the growth rate is sustainable and growing, there is a dire need of depoliticising Pakistan’s economy.