ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said taxes have been abolished to facilitate the investment of Chinese friends in the Special Economic Zones being set up under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Addressing a post budget news conference in Islamabad on Saturday along with Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiyar and Commerce Adviser Razaq Dawood, he said the main emphasis of the budget is to protect the vulnerable segments of the society.
He said four million poor households, to be accessed through the Ehsaas Survey, will be provided with interest free business and farming loans. He said these households will also be given loans to build their own houses. Besides, they will be given health cards and one member of each family will be imparted technical training.
The Finance Minister said incentives have been given to uplift both the agriculture and industries which will increase employability. He said the incentives in the industries are not only textile specific but have been extended to different sectors.
He said the budget 2021-22 focuses on uplifting the poor and ensuring sustainable economic growth through incentives for various sectors including agriculture, industry and housing.
He said the government was now directly targeting the poorest of the poor and facilitating them with different initiatives to upgrade their life standard without waiting for trickle down effect, which he said needed around 20 years of stable economic growth to take effect.
He said that this was not an easy task, however thanked Almighty Allah for giving the incumbent government this vision to work for the poor. The minister said that the government through this budget would utilize ‘bottom-up-approach, for around 6 million low-income households.
Under this initiative every household would be provided Rs5 lack interest-free business loan. Every farming household would be given Rs1.5 loans for every crop, Rs2.5 lakh interest-free farming loans and Rs2 lakh interest free loans for buying tractors and machinery.
He said that low-interest bearing housing loans upto Rs2 million would be provided to help people buy their houses and besides that every household would be provided a Sehat Card to facilitate them in time of need.
In addition, the minister said that one person from every household would be provided free technical training to ensure employability so that the family earns respectable income.
The minister said that no doubt the government does not have space to provide these loans, which could be done through wholesale financing of commercial banks for which the government would be providing guarantees of recovery.
The minister said that the identification of the poorest households would be done through a non-political survey all over Pakistan. “We will not play politics with the poor,” the minister added.
The minister said that after achieving economic stability, comprehensive progress was under progress to lead the country towards sustainable growth for which the country would need to enhance exports.
“So another primary focus of the government was to promote exports and take them upto 20 percent of GDP from just 8 percent, adding that for bringing stability in the country, there was dire need to enhance exports.”
The minister said that for the first time a growth oriented budget was presented which introduced innovation to enhance revenue collection, expansion of incentives for exporters, abolished duty on local industry and also brought innovation in the auto industry.