Business World Expects To Witness Era Of 'Pakistan Speed' Under PM-elect Shehbaz: PBF

Business world expects to witness era of 'Pakistan Speed' under PM-elect Shehbaz: PBF

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Mar, 2024) The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) on Sunday congratulated Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the 24th Prime Minister of Pakistan and hoped that the business world would now witness a new era of 'Pakistan Speed’.

PBF President Khawaja Mehboob ur Rehman, Vice Presidents Ahmad Jawad and Jahan Ara Wattoo, and Provincial Chairmen Naseer Malik, Daroo Khan Achakzai, Malik Suhail Talat, Atif Ikram Sheikh, Ashafque Paracha and Shabnum Zafar urged the newly-elected prime minister to provide a competitive environment to the business community.

The PBF President, in a statement, called for framing a 20-year economic vision for the country, including the signing of a 'charter of the economy' by all political parties and a roadmap for economic development.

He suggested that the vision should be reviewed after five years and no government should be allowed to change it on its own.

The PBF leader said that due to inconsistency in policies and frequent changes in them, a large number of SROs (Statutory Regulatory Orders) were being issued and that process should be stopped.

At the moment, he said, "our exports are about US$ 30 billion and half of it is from the textile sector".

PBF Vice President Chaudhry Ahmad Jawad said after the elections all the political parties must show maturity and join hands with the government for the country and its people. Unity was required as Pakistan was passing through economic turbulence.

He claimed that constant rise in the electricity tariff was hurting the businesses and industry at large. The Discos’ losses stood at Rs 77 billion during July-December 2023-24 as compared to Rs 62 billion in the same period of 2022-23, showing addition of Rs 15 billion in total circular debt stock.

The total amount of losses, inefficiency were Rs 160 billion during FY 2022-23.

Jawad called for 'out-of-box thinking' to deal with the economic crisis. He urged approximately 43 percent reduction in power tariff, as, otherwise, many industries might not survive after losing export markets because of high input costs.

PBF Chairman South Punjab Malik Suhail Talat urged the incoming government to come up with the right set of policies to keep the industrial wheel in motion, including revival of cotton crop, as a large chunk of the country’s industries would eventually fall victim to high input cost and close down.

"We also demand that the power sector circular debt issue should be resolved holistically without escalating electricity cost, as its size has more than doubled during the last three and a half years," he added.

PBF KP Chairman Ashafque Paracha said corporate tax reforms were essential to spur Pakistan's economic potential and innovation, thus improving living standard of the people.

At present, corporate tax reforms were imperative for economic growth and sustainability in Pakistan, he said and asserted that the current tax structure was burdened with complexities coupled with high tax rates and loopholes that deterred investment, stifles innovation and hinders jobs creation.

Paracha further said reducing corporate tax rates would make Pakistan more competitive globally besides attracting foreign investment and encouraging domestic businesses to expand.