Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday
unveiled an incentives package for the promotion of the industrial sector with
a focus on attracting investment from the local and expatriate business
community and strengthening the country’s export-oriented industrial and
manufacturing base.

“Along with local businessmen, we are also inviting the Overseas
Pakistani entrepreneurs to invest in the country’s industrial sector. Besides
the expatriates, the local businessmen in the joint venture will also enjoy a
five-year tax holiday with no questions,” he said while addressing a ceremony,
which was attended by a large number of businessmen and representatives of the
chambers of commerce and industry.

The prime minister said that the government
was doing all for the promotion of export-oriented industries — vital for the
country’s socio-economic development and progress — including the measures to
strengthen Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and revive the sick industrial
units.

He said that there was a need to attract the nine million overseas
Pakistanis — a precious asset for the country — to invest in their homeland by
incentivising and giving them confidence in the protection of their hard-earned
capital.

PM Imran Khan while stressing the importance of the industrial and
manufacturing sector for wealth creation and development of the country, said
that countries cannot achieve progress only by producing wheat and vegetables.

He said that the policy of nationalisation in the 1970s, a
socialist philosophy, changed the trajectory of growth and industrial
development in Pakistan, which was moving in the right direction some 55 years
back.

The prime minister also mentioned the anti-wealth creation and
anti-profit-making policies of subsequent governments as major hurdles in the
way of required growth in industries in Pakistan, which led to major economic
problems including the shortage of dollars and current account deficit.

He said it was the present government that decided to promote
industries, particularly the export-oriented industries.

The prime minister referred to a graph-chart which he showed in
his February 28 address to the nation and said Pakistan during the 2000-2020
period remained at the lowest in terms of growth in exports as compared to the
countries including e Rwanda, Vietnam, India, China and Bangladesh.

“Lacks of long-term planning, shortage of dollars, less or no
growth in exports force the country to approach the International Monetary Fund
(IMF),” he remarked.

The prime minister said that the present government’s two-pronged
industrial policy focused on the promotion of SMEs through improved regulations
and ease of doing business; and the revival of sick industrial units.

PM Imran Khan pointed to his experience of dealing with the
Overseas Pakistanis due to a fundraising campaign for Shaukat Khanum hospital
30 years back and said among the nine million expatriates, there were many
successful professionals, businessmen and entrepreneurs.

He said the present government also took various measures
including the setting of special courts and crackdown on plot mafias, to
restore the confidence of expatriates, which was shattered due to the illegal
occupation of their plots.

The prime minister pointing towards the much less growth in the
Information Technology (IT) sector over the last many years due to lack of
policies said that the present government was incentivising the IT sector,
which had a lot of potential to take the country forward in terms of exports.

He said that as against India’s $140 billion annual IT exports,
Pakistan was just hovering around $4 billion per annum — 70% growth achieved
during the present government.

The prime minister said that since Pakistan stood second in the
world in terms of the young population, it was important to promote the IT
sector. For the first time, the present government came up with an IT policy,
he added.

 


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2022-03-01

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