ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said that despite the difficult economic situation, the policies of PTI led government have brought a turnaround which is being recognised internationally.

The government’s policies have resulted in the economic stability and increased business community’s confidence, he noted, while chairing a meeting of the government’s economic team.

The prime minister stressed on extending further facilitation to the business community, especially the small and medium entrepreneurs, so they are encouraged and do not face any financial issues.

The meeting considered the country’s economic situation, progress on the pending cases related to the FBR in the courts, process of tax refunds to the exporters, progress on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, steps at generating the non-tax revenue, and regular steps to review progress on different development projects.

The meeting was attended by ministers Hammad Azhar (Economic Affairs), Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar (Food Security), Asad Umar (Planning), and Omar Ayub (Energy), PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

551 of 1,089 cases lodged against FBR decided so far, reveals AGP

Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain, SAPM on Social Security Sania Nishtar, BOI Chairman Dr Zubair Gillani, SBP Governor Reza Baqir and other senior officials also attended the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the economic stability and provision of job opportunities to the youth and skilled were the highest priorities of the government.

He also underlined the need for out of the box thinking and making proposals in this regard. The government’s full attention was focused on provision of relief to the common man, he added.

The prime minister further observed that the continuous progress on the development projects would, on one hand, accelerate the economic process while on the other, would also provide employment opportunities to the country’s youth.

He stressed upon giving special focus to further increasing the close coordination among all the relevant inter-provincial authorities and the departments in this regard.

The meeting was informed that during the months of July to November this year, the data showed an increase in the volume of export and the income in terms of dollars. During the month of October, the imports witnessed a surge by six percent as compared to the corresponding month in the previous year whereas these figures in the month of November reached to 9.6 percent.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the situation.

The attorney general for Pakistan apprised the meeting in detail about the pending cases of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the Supreme Court, Islamabad, Lahore, Sindh and Peshawar High Courts.

He informed that a total of 1,089 cases were instituted out of which 551 had been decided whereas 285 were still pending. In others, the decisions had been either reserved or under hearing process.

The prime minister directed the attorney general to expedite the process for early adjudication of the pending cases.

He assured that the attorney general’s office would be fully facilitated with all the required resources to effectively present the government’s stance during hearing of these cases related to the FBR.

The AGP opined that with the early disposal of these cases, the issues of the business community would be resolved, leading to further ease of doing business.

The prime minister was also comprehensively apprised over refunds process to the exporters. He directed the FBR to further simplify the mechanism introduced for the payment of these refunds, so that the small and medium exporters should not feel any difficulty in receiving the outstanding amounts.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum Nadeem Babar apprised the meeting about the progress on TAPI.

The finance secretary briefed the meeting about the efforts for increasing the non-tax revenue which were appreciated by the prime minister.

The planning secretary briefed that the first quarterly review of the development projects was held during October 21 to November 1 in which all the concerned departments were directed to ensure timely implementation and uninterrupted progress on these projects.

He further informed that a half year review of these projects would be held in January 2020 whereas the annual review would be scheduled during the month of August.

Besides, under the direction of the prime minister, he said, monthly review of these projects was also being regularly held. An online system was also being introduced for monitoring of progress on these projects and the system was fully digitalized.

For keeping check on the pace of these uplift projects in the far flung areas, satellite monitoring system was also being initiated. 

Shaukat Tareen, former finance minister, apprised the meeting about the launch of ‘Food Bank’ in Lahore. The prime minister lauded the efforts for provision of foods to the deserving people at their doorsteps and assured government’s complete facilitation in this regard.

PM commends IRW role

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday commended the role played by Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) in supporting socio-economic development of Pakistan, especially in health, post disaster and disaster risk reduction, water and sanitation, education and climate change.

He was talking to Chief Executive Officer of Islamic Relief Worldwide, Naser Haghamed, a humanitarian and development INGO, who called on him a the PM Office.

The prime minister shared his vision of inclusive and sustainable development of all segments of the society without any discrimination, and encouraged IRW to partner with the Government’s flagship Ehsaas program. 

Haghamed lauded the prime minister’s vision and assured that IRW would continue to contribute towards the well-being of Pakistanis through projects conceived and developed in consultation with the Government, and in line with the Government’s priorities.  Headquartered in the UK, and working in 47 countries worldwide, IRW is the largest Islamic INGO, and has been working in Pakistan since 1992.