Islamabad, October 03, 2017 (PPI-OT): Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Tuesday said the central bank downplayed massive threats faced by the economy in its latest report. The report is over-optimistic at best and far from the ground realities which is an attempt to throw dust in the eyes of masses, it said.
The SBP has overlooked the recent increase in the international oil prices, depleting forex reserves and pressure on local currency and exports, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that government should not rely on such report but take steps to improve the deteriorating economic situation without any delay.
The government must change its attitude towards critical exports sectors and stop penalising the sectors paying highest level of taxes, he added. The government should keep promises of its manifesto which envisioned to make Pakistan a developed economy. He said that the critical areas needing immediate reforms include energy, taxation, trade, the central bank, investment scenario, agricultural, tax and exports.
Circular debt has swelled to the all-time high, agriculture covering 20 percent of the GDP is not paying the due share in taxes while the government is not inclined to collect taxes from this sector, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that budget deficit continues to climb on the back of unabated imports, investments are drying up while exports are going down.
The government has not allowed autonomy to the central bank despite the promise and it has failed to achieve the target of returning loans taken from the SBP, he added. He noted that the tax system is repressive at best, collectors continue to treat taxpayers are criminals which is widening the gulf of distrust which is unfortunate. The government has already presented many budgets, it may decide not to initiate any unpopular reforms as it will be focusing more on populist policies to win next elections which would be a disaster for the economy, he warned.
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Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry (ICSTSI)
24-D, 3rd Floor, Rashid Plaza Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
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