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Private sector urged to submit budget proposals

Published: March 20, 2019
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The private sector should draft proposals and submit them for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s first federal budget, suggested speakers during a roundtable meeting.

The deliberations were held to discuss pre-budget proposals and urge the government to strengthen inter-departmental coordination to avoid double taxation. They highlighted that the Planning Commission was formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan and the Ministry of Commerce was preparing a three-year Strategic Trade Policy Framework in that regard.

They called on the business community to engage proactively with relevant departments and submit sector-specific recommendations.

The meeting was jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the National Network of Economic Think Tanks in collaboration with the Government College University Lahore on Tuesday.

Punjab Urban Unit CEO Khalid Sherdill pointed out that the Punjab government had developed a spatial strategy aimed at providing suitable zones in a bid to protect agricultural land.

He disclosed that policies were being reviewed to find out how urban centres could incorporate high-rise buildings, which would boost the services sector and provide much-needed jobs for the youth. “Public-private models are also being studied to finalise plans through which the government’s ambition of providing low-cost housing can be achieved,” he said. “Efforts are also being made to make the industrial and economic zones sustainable.”

SDPI Joint Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed stressed the need for expediting work on the Punjab Smart Regulation Act in order to reduce the regulatory burden on provincial enterprises.

“The Punjab Revenue Authority will need to expedite collaboration with the FBR to avoid instances of double taxation,” he emphasised.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2019.

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