Lahore, January 14, 2015 (PPI-OT): The government should set realistic targets to provide jobs to 50 million youth of the country in the years to come. It was urged by Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi, President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) in a press statement issued here today. He stressed to encourage rapid growth of manufacturing sector for creating the requisite number of jobs, which could only be possible by introducing business friendly policies coupled with lowest possible cost of doing business.
He observed that Pakistan’s economy was facing a multitude of problems, amongst which unemployment was the most alarming, as two million youth demand employments every year and only 900,000 were managing to get jobs.
Faisal Aridi said that the economy should grow between three and eight per cent annually to be able to employ the youth joining the workforce moreover to ensure 8 per cent growth and the investment rate should remain at 30 per cent. Whereas, the investment rate, currently, was around 19 per cent only, he added and proposed to review the Chinese road map to achieve the economic prosperity on fast track in the country, as the China had attained the investment rat up to 38 per cent in the record time.
He suggested that all political forces should unite on the economic development agenda of the country to address the basic economic problems on top priority. “The government should be looking at symptoms carefully before going for the cure”, he said adding that the business community should also be taken on aboard while revisiting the economic priorities.
He also called for broader participation of the business community in budget making process. He observed that the business community’s confidence in the budget-making process was very low due to greater influence of IMF and multilateral development banks in setting priorities for our federal budget. He said that Government should set realistic revenue collection targets in line with prevalent economic conditions through broader consultation private sector. He hoped that rational economic targets would be announced by the Government this year rather than setting unachievable targets which could fuel inflation or increase the tax burden on the common man.
Referring to services sector, Faisal Afridi deplored that the services sector had been growing at fast pace without a corresponding rise in tax collection from this area. The development of services sector is beneficial to economy only if it pays fair taxes; otherwise the sector creates few jobs and has little impact on the life of common man, he added.
Faisal Afridi emphasized to expand the ambit of tax payers rather than increasing the tax burden. He regretted that there were 400,000 industrial electricity connections in Pakistan but only 46,800 were paying taxes to the government. A corruption free tax collection system is required to be in place to increase the number of tax payers in real terms.
President PCJCCI appreciated the government efforts to enhance infrastructure facilities in the country. However, he urged to undertake a two-pronged strategy bearing short-term and long-term working plans. The construction of water reservoirs and dams should be expedited in this regard to address energy and irrigation issues, he added.
For more information, contact:
Wardah Ali Gohar
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353