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jobs

No Concrete Measures for Job Creation in Budget: APBF


Sumera Saeed | June 5, 2017 | category: Jobs

All Pakistan Business Forum president Ibrahim Qureshi has said that Pakistan needs 2.5 million jobs annually but the government has taken concrete measures neither in federal nor in Punjab budgets for job creations for the unemployed youth.

Commenting on the 2017-18 federal and Punjab budgets, he termed it a bubble budget, apparently feeling good but does not contain substance.

He condemned the economic manager’s calculator approach in finalizing the budget, which focused more on revenue collection and less on the fulfillment of its major objective of giving a long-term direction to the economy. This budget shows the failure of the Federal Board of Revenue as the reduction of taxpayers in active taxpayers list clearly indicates the failure of the govt, he added.

Terming the federal budget as a number game with no incentives for industry and more privileges for few sectors, he said that government is non-serious to explore new venues for revenue generation and no efforts had been taken to plug revenue leakages amounting in billions. He criticized the Federal Board of Revenue for failing in broadening of tax base. The government instead of generating revenue from direct taxes showed its intention to collect revenue through withholding tax. Moreover, the government after increasing the tax rate for non-filers had admitted its failure to implement the concept of filer and non-filer introduced in the last budget.

He also opposed the Punjab government for slapping duty on internet services. He said internet had now become a necessity for every sector of the economy, whether its agriculture, healthcare, education or SMEs. He said that small size businesses have also a monthly bill of more than Rs1,500. Making broadband expensive will have a very negative impact on the overall economy, as taxing broadband is like raising petrol prices, which affects every sector of the economy, he added. Ibrahim Qureshi said that like the previous governments, this one too has refrained from bringing big fishes into the tax net or even taking measures to prevent major tax evasions. The government attempted to squeeze the neck of old taxpayers instead of taking efforts to bring new taxpayers into tax net.

He blasted the authorities for not keeping its focus on resolving the energy crisis and allocating sufficient funds for the construction of big reservoirs including Kalabagh Dam in budget. He said that policymakers would have to address the concerns of the public since they suffer the most as a result of the power crisis. Ibrahim Qureshi questioned the claims of the government regarding reduction in unemployment, improvement in per capita income and improved energy situation.

The government is opening up the Pakistan economy to imports. While lower duty on raw materials and inputs is needed, but duty free imports of machinery will result in huge spending of scarce foreign exchange and jobs creations abroad, and no jobs for Pakistanis.

Ibrahim Qureshi regretted that no corrective action has been announced in the budget to increase direct taxation and more emphasis has been laid on indirect taxation.

All Pakistan Business Forum’ lauds decision to increase trade with Italy

All Pakistan Business Forum’ lauds decision to increase trade with Italy


Sumera Saeed | December 21, 2016 | category: News

Pakistan and Italy have recently agreed to increase bilateral trade to $1.5 Billion, raising it from the current volume of $1 Billion (fiscal year 2016-2017). The ‘All Pakistan Business Forum’ (APBF) has lauded this decision made by the Pakistan-Italy ‘Joint Economic Commission’ (JEC), during some high-level meetings.

The President of APBF – Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi congratulated Italy’s Deputy Minister for Economic Development – Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto – who was leading a 25-member, distinguished delegation from Italy, on an official visit to Pakistan. Mr. Qureshi stated that: The business communities in both countries fully realize the importance and vast potential of trade between our two friendly nations. Some key areas for cooperation have already been identified, along with an agreement to nurture greater economic ties, to gain mutual benefits.

The President of APBF appreciated the strong diplomatic cooperation and efforts of the Italian government and assured the Italian delegates that; “Pakistan wants to further enhance its socio-economic ties with Italy. The business community in both countries will work together to foster  trade relations, through bigger exhibitions and stronger Business-To-Business contacts, supported by the two governments. We are also thankful to Italy for supporting Pakistan in getting the ‘GSP plus’ from EU.”

Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto stated that: “The Italian delegation visited Pakistan to explore more business and investment opportunities, while taking keen interest in various economic sectors, like: trade, infrastructure, technology, agriculture, food, Textiles, Fashion, Railways and ports.

The total volume of trade between Pakistan and Italy stands at $1.1 billion. We are now seeking long-term relationships to enhance this bilateral trade to $1.5 billion.” He further added:

“We are really happy to see the rapid progress on the ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC), which is among the biggest, most promising projects for global development. It will revolutionize connectivity all over the region and beyond, with its benefits reaching billions of people around the world”.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Finance & Economic Affairs, Government of Pakistan – Mr. Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, was leading Pakistan’s team of learned delegates, who were conducting these trade-dialogues with Italy. He stated:

“We’ve had fruitful meetings and discussions with Italian business delegation and they have expressed their desire to explore numerous investment opportunities in Pakistan. Over the years, both nations have agreed to form four working-groups to work for reforms in key commercial sectors like; Energy & infrastructure development, trade & joint ventures, agriculture & agro Industries, Information-technology collaboration.”

The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) is a vibrant business association which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and a wide range of industries in Pakistan. It also advises reforms to the Government sector, regarding policy formulation, regulatory realignments and implementation in the commercial and industrial sectors of the economy. Over the years, APBF has been consistently playing a positive role in elevating the standards and facilitation of business activity in Pakistan.