KARACHI

Resident representative of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Tokhir Mirzoev has said that although Pakistan’s GDP growth has improved to 4.1 per cent but it was not enough as faster growth rate was needed to create more employment opportunities and absorb new entrants into the job market.

Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said that Pakistan’s economy was gradually improving and heading towards stability as various economic indicators have been progressing well due to lower oil prices, lesser inflation, robust remittances and sustained foreign reserves.

Commenting further on prevailing economic scenario in the backdrop of lower oil prices, Tokhir Mirzoev said that luckily, it has created opportunities and now it all depends on how Pakistan uses it. In order to ensure that the economy stays on track, structural reforms were needed to improve the overall tax base and the business climate of the country, he stressed.

Advocating KCCI’s demand to bring maximum number of tax evaders into the tax net, Tokhir Mirzoev said that relying on borrowings was not the right option and Pakistan must raise its revenue by enhancing the taxpayers’ base so that the revenue generated could be utilized on various development projects pertaining to energy, health and education etc.

“The first option, which is the best way to achieve revenue target, is to widen the taxpayers’ base and the second option is to raise the tax rate for the existing taxpayers. We (the IMF) are in favor of the first option”, he opined, adding that political will, vision and a clear strategy along with capacity building and training were needed to overcome the issues being faced by Pakistan.

Highlighting the purpose of his visit to KCCI, IMF resident representative said, “IMF is keen to establish contact with Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry so that we could exchange ideas on how we can work together.”  

Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra appreciated the IMF authorities for preferring to take KCCI’s input on overall business climate and how the business community feels about the economic challenges being faced by the country.