ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said today the government was well aware of the challenges being faced by the business community and taking all possible measures to provide them an enabling environment to grow and contribute to the national economy.
He said ” In today’s world, there are essentially three pillars sustaining any nation-building process, the government, civil society, and business,” adding that the nation’s development could be only achieved when these three worked together.
The Minister was addressing the ‘CEO Summit Islamabad’ organized by CEO Club Pakistan in collaboration with Planning Commission, Board of Investment and Privatization Commission here.
The event was attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, senior officials of the Ministry and a large number of business leaders, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and policymakers.
He stated that the government’s primary role was to act as a facilitator for sustainable and responsible business to flourish.
He said that the government had moved to reform the economy and it expected the private sector corporations to step up and partnered with the government in redefining the country’s future.
The Minister added that the private sector’s potential to contribute to the treasury’s domestic revenues was critical for meeting the government’s developmental goals by financing essential public goods and services.
The minister noted that major roadblocks to growth had been the historically low private investment, little or no investment by business in R&D and domestic operations.
Pakistani businesses needed to step out of their comfort zones and invest in acquiring latest technology, business practices to become competitive at the regional and international level and employing our growing youth bulge in value-added industries of the future especially science and technology, he added.
The minister stated that sustainable development was best served where private sector positions itself to foster inclusive growth noting that “Our talented private sector has the potential to lift people out of poverty.”
He further said that evidence suggested that over 80% of jobs in developing countries were created by the private sector however unfortunately only 25% of the working-age population was engaged in productive employment.
He said that more than 80% of the workforce in Pakistan remained employed in informal sector jobs which needed to be changed.
The minister said that the government acknowledged the positive role the businesses had played in the development of the country and their ability to navigate tough political and economic cycles.
‘Now is the time that we work together to change the destiny of our country.”
Talking about CPEC, the Minister stated that the project was graduating from start-up phase to a more mature period in its development.
He underlined that the scope and base of CPEC were broadening and deepening adding that the mega project had the potential to spur GDP growth and transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub.
He stressed upon the industrialists to bridge the industrial divide between Pakistan and China by initiating joint ventures in various sectors including manufacturing, services, construction, agriculture, and energy.
The Minister congratulated the best-performing CEOs and companies on their achievements and hoped that they would continue to contribute to the country’s socio-economic development for a prosperous Pakistan.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Political Affair, Naeem ul Haq, speaking on the occasion said the present government was committed to providing free health and education to the poor people of the country.
He said that government would strengthen the local government system in the country adding that previous governments of Sindh and Punjab did not give power to local bodies system.
Improving ease of doing business
ISLAMABAD: PM has today directed Board of Investment (BoI) chairman to present a comprehensive plan, listing all the issues in various sectors and their sub-sectors and how the processes could be streamlined to simplify procedures related to government approvals, addressing taxation issues, dispute resolution and facilitating investors/businesses.
He said this while chairing a high-level meeting to review progress on improving ease of doing business and creating an enabling environment to facilitate the conversion of interest of the local as well foreign investors into actual investments in the country. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Law Minister Dr. Farogh Naseem, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif, federal secretaries and senior officials.
BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif while briefing the prime minister about the steps taken so far said the Board would be serving as an agent of change for facilitating business transactions, removing impediments in the way to the materialization of investors’ interest into actual investments and smooth functioning of the businesses in the country. He also briefed about various issues being faced by the business community including taxation, access to finance, regulation and policy issues and red-tapism.
He said the BoI was also actively working with the provinces and relevant ministries for removing barriers in the way of establishing Special Economic Zones. He said special efforts were being made to bridge the gap between private and public sector and to reach out to the private sector to revive their confidence in government policies and put in place a framework that facilitates business community in its business pursuits. The BoI chairman also briefed about Naya Pakistan Diaspora Fund which was being set-up to promote SMEs and rural development in key areas of education, health, and infrastructure development.
He also apprised the prime minister of the investment framework which had been structured for attracting and materializing investment from UAE, KSA, China, Japan, and Malaysia. It was decided during the meeting that the prime minister would chair a review meeting every month on ease of doing business in the country.
KARACHI: Removal of encroachments
KARACHI: The Anti-Encroachment Department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) demolished more than 35 shops and other constructions in front of shops and footpaths with the help of heavy machinery in district West and Korangi on Tuesday.
Metropolitan Commissioner Dr. Syed Saif-ur-Rehman who is monitoring anti-encroachments drive in the city, said that footpaths are for pedestrians and no one can be allowed to block the footpaths by extending shops or putting stuff to create problems for citizens, said a statement. He said that the anti-encroachment drive was meant to bring improvement to the city and make it clean and beautiful.
Traders community have so far cooperated with the KMC in its action against encroachments and removed their stuff and an additional portion of their shops.
He said that the city roads, streets, and footpaths are widened after the removal of encroachments. Meanwhile, senior director anti-encroachments Bashir Siddiqui with his team took action in districts West and Korangi.
They removed the encroachments from different areas including Pak Colony in district West and Malir Saudabad in district Korangi where walls, shops, and other structures were demolished.
Tokyo stocks close lower
TOKYO: Shares here closed lower today as uncertainty caused by factors including Brexit and trade tensions weighed on the market, wiping out early gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.34 percent or 71.48 points to 21,148.02 while the broader Topix index was down 0.91 percent or 14.50 points at 1,575.31. Tokyo shares opened higher, rebounding from sharp drops the previous day, with investors apparently relieved that Wall Street eked out gains after a volatile session.
“But sentiment worsened as investors remained cautious amid uncertain elements such as the postponement of Britain’s Brexit vote and the US-China trade war,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato told AFP. European stock markets and the pound slid Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was delaying a parliamentary vote on her deal to leave the EU after conceding it would not win sufficient support.
“The market is concerned that the postponement uses up valuable time before the 29th March exit date, and the risk of a no-deal scenario is growing,” David de Garis, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank said in a commentary. The dollar slipped to 113.10 yen in late Asian trade from 113.35 yen in New York Monday afternoon. In individual stocks trade, SoftBank Group jumped 2.44 percent to 8,827 yen after announcing Monday it aims to raise over $23 billion by listing its Japanese mobile unit next week.
Nissan kept falling, down 3.10 percent at 915.7 yen after tumbling 2.90 percent on Monday as ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged and faced new allegations of alleged financial misconduct. Prosecutors also charged Nissan for filing documents that allegedly understated Ghosn’s earnings. The Nikkei daily reported Tuesday that Nissan plans to book years of under-reported compensation paid to Ghosn as expenses in the year to March 2019 all at once, a move that could worsen the automaker’s balance sheet. Toyota lost 1.09 percent to 6,745 yen but Sony rose 0.72 percent to 5,735 yen.