All stakeholders to be taken on board in budget process: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Saturday said that the government has planned to make a commission comprising different stakeholders to include them in the budget making process.

“The commission would get proposals from different stakeholders including banks, stock markets, regulators, business community etc in their respective areas and include them in budget making process”, the Minister said while chairing a consultative meeting “Grand Consultation on Budget 2014-15”, here.

In the meeting, representatives from diverse fields of trade and industry of the country were present and gave their suggestion and proposals to improve the taxation issues in their respective areas.

The Minister said the government was ready to present its second budget 2014-15 on June 3 in which a three-years budget strategy would also be presented.

“Unlike in the past the government is preparing for the first time a three- year Budget Strategy Paper 2014-17 in which three years’ targets of different national economic indicators will be set”, he remarked.

He said the government has planned to phase out all discriminatory Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) in a period of three years and a part of those SROs would also be phased out in this year.

“We have almost completed an exercise in eight meetings to review concessionary regime (SROs) to provide a level playing field for the economy”, he added.

Ishaq Dar assured the participants that their recommendations would be taken on board and after consultation they would be included in the budget.

The Finance Minister observed that there were revolutionary ideas from the business community and serious doable proposals would be considered in the next financial year.

He underlined that transparency, good governance and zero toleration for corruption are the hallmarks of PML-N Government in line with the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He added “Pakistan is our own country and we have to join hands to make improvements in the system”.

Representatives of the traders associations appreciated the consultation process and observed that this is the first time in history of Pakistan that this level of consultations have been held in preparation of budget.

There was a general consensus in the remarks of the trade associations that local manufacturers should be encouraged with the aim to increase value addition and export led growth.

The traders emphasized on employment of measures for documentation of economy. There was also an agreement among the traders that small and medium enterprises in the country should be encouraged.

The Finance Minister in his concluding remarks said that the process of consultation which has been initiated will not terminate with this budget but it will be a continuing process and the government will take along the business community in its agenda of reform.

He added, “We are making our efforts to simplify the taxation system and incentivize tax payers as compared to tax evaders”.