Govt wants dividends of economic reforms before June 2015: Khurram Dastagir

KARACHI: Led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the government is seriously pursuing its agenda of economic reforms including revision of tariffs and is committed to reap dividends of these reforms till June 2015, said Federal Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan.

“For this purpose, we have launched aggressive programs,” the Minister said this while speaking at an interactive meeting with the officials and members of Overseas Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) at the chamber.

The minister said that among many other steps/programms to revive and  strengthen the economy of the country, the government is working on restructuring of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), on tariffs, diversification of trade and finding new markets for increasing exports manifold.He informed that as a part of reforms initiated by Federal Ministry of Commerce, new fleet of energetic commercial counsellors will be appointed in 2015.

He agreed with the OCCI representatives that besides ensuringuninterrupted supply of gas and electricity, certain rectifying steps are needed to be taken by FBR for promoting trade and industry in the country.

The Commerce Minister said that as a result of the positive policies and steps of the government, the country’s exports have witnessed 18 percent increase over last six months.

He also expressed his satisfaction over TDAP’s successful ‘Aalishan Pakistan’ trade exhibition recently held in New Delhi.

Not only with India and Iran, the government wants to increase trade and economic cooperation with other countries of the region, he added.

He listed various power projects launched by the present government and assured that in 2017, power generation will significantly improve and its tariffs will also come down.

The government’s focus is to place maximum coal-fired power plants as coal is the cheapest source of power generation in the world, he said.

Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan said that the government is also focussing on human resources development.

He said the government also wants to enhance the capacity of itself to dully implement its policies.

The Federal Minister for Commerce assured , on his and on behalf of his government, that due consultation will be made with members of OCCI and other stakeholders for effective restructuring FBR, TDAP and other public sector organizations influencing trade and industry.

“We see other stakeholders including businessmen and farmers as our partners,” he remarked.

The Minister also answered queries from the members of Overseas Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and assured that Ministry of Commerce will soon provide them an open forum for detailed discussions to gather their valued suggestions for promoting trade and industry in the country.

Earlier, Secretary General of OCCI Abdul Aleem gave a presentation to the Minister highlighting the role of the chamber and the various issues wherein the government’s support is required.

Vice President OCCI Atif Aslam Bajwa also apprised the Minister of the irritants to trade and investment especially foreign investment.

Source: APP