'Budget 2021-22 focuses on ensuring sustainable economic growth'

'Budget 2021-22 focuses on ensuring sustainable economic growth'

Islamabad (Web Desk): Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Saturday said that federal budget for fiscal year 2021-22 focuses on sustainable economic growth through incentives for various sectors including agriculture, industry and housing.

Addressing a post budget news conference in Islamabad, along with Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiyar and Commerce Adviser Razaq Dawood, the finance minister said that the main emphasis of the budget is to protect the vulnerable segments of the society.

“Four million poor households, to be accessed through the Ehsaas Survey, will be provided with interest-free business and farming loans,” Tarin said, adding that such households will also be provided with health cards, with technical training imparted to one member of the household.

The finance minister said incentives been given to uplift both the agriculture and industries which will increase employability.

He said the incentives in the industries are not only textile specific but have been extended to different sectors.

Shaukat Tarin said taxes have been abolished to facilitate the investment of Chinese friends in the Special Economic Zones being set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The finance minister said the taxes on the IT have been rationalized in order to exploit its full potential. He said we want to substantially enhance this sector's exports in the years to come.

Shaukat Tarin said duties have been abolished on almost all the raw materials, which he said, will strengthen the local industries and reduce our imports.

Responding to a question, the finance minister clarified that the federal cabinet did not approve the proposal to enhance charges of SMS, mobile phone calls and internet usage.

He expressed the confidence that the prices of cars up to 850cc will come down following the tax relief given to the automobiles.

The minister said that the incentives given to the SMEs will also help achieve higher growth in the industry.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has given special emphasis to the housing sector which will help strengthen the industries allied with it.

Tarin said the government has increased subsidies especially in the power sector and efficiency will be brought to the sector.

“DISCOs will be operated through independent boards and they will be privatised,” he said, adding that the line losses will be reduced and recoveries will be enhanced.

The finance minister expressed the confidence that the revenue target of 4.7 set for the current fiscal year. He said we have to enhance the tax to GDP ratio to 20 percent in a period of seven to eight years.

“Our focus is to bring more people into the tax net instead of imposing more taxes on the people already paying taxes,” he said, adding that the tax collection target of 5.8 trillion rupees has been set for the next fiscal year which will be achieved through innovative approach including the use of latest technology.

He said the PSDP has been enhanced significantly to take the country towards sustainable growth.