Pakistan faces ‘no risk of default’

ISLAMABAD        -           The National Assembly on Friday was told in categorical terms that the country faces no risk of default. Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha told the House during the ‘Question Hour’ that the country was faced with a difficult situation when the present coalition government came into power as the IMF program was suspended. Aisha Ghaus Pasha also said the Pakistan’s fifty percent economy was undocumented according to the studies already indicated including International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). She said the quarters concerned was making all out efforts to bring reforms in the tax collection system in a bid to generate maximum tax income in order to create further facilities both at the taxpayer and common man’s end. She said basically there were two ways to bring improvement in the revenue collection; first by educating the business community about the benefits of becoming the taxpayer and second through taking enforcement measures. “We have to develop the civic sense in every Pakistani national that he or she has to pay the tax as per his/her income honestly,” she preferred. She said the government provided various facilities to the people such as; education, health, transportation, defense, water and others on the basis of overall revenue collection adding that Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was nine percent which is very low in the world that was why; Pakistan was lagging behind others in the comity of nations. She said the FBR should introduce people friendly policies so that they themselves should document their income accordingly. She proposed that instead of burdening the existing taxpayers, we should bring those people under tax net who are still out of the FBR reach. She also made it clear that Pakistan was not going to default accepting the looming dangers when the incumbent government came at the helm of affairs. “The IMF programme was suspended, the international external financing avenues were closed, it is fact that when IMF’s programme is suspended, we cannot borrow from the multilateral and bilateral agencies and even from the international financial markets to finance our external needs,” the minister added. She said after coming into power, we took some hard decisions and made unwavering efforts to revive the IMF’s programme to save the country from the bankruptcy. “We are very much on IMF’s track and because of that external multilateral and bilateral agencies would also pour their share in the national kitty. Our exports are improving, remittances are coming too from abroad consistently, and foreign direct investments were being opened,” she mentioned all the positive indicators towards the revival of Pakistan’s economy. She further said the most interesting thing was that the global community had assured all out support the rehabilitation of the people facing critical situation due the monsoon rains and flash floods in the country.

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