Changed tax structure needed to support underprivileged: ICST

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Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) has said that PTI’s pro-poor policies would require radical changes in the tax structure which heavily favours rich.
Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt has said that the country is facing a balance of payments crisis and its resolution plan should avoid inflation which will hurt poor leading to higher interest rates, slowing down growth and hitting competitiveness.
It will also collide with the SMEs on which the incoming government is counting to provide jobs to millions of unemployed, he added.
He further said that country is facing a trade deficit of $38 billion, current account deficit of $18 billion, official forex reserves are about $10 billion, while external debt is inching towards $100 billion. Exports and investment are not taking off, remittances are insufficient while the increasing oil prices will add additional pressure on the economy.
He noted that borrowing from the international debt market would be very costly as compared to the IMF but entering into IMF programme would leave100-day agenda unfulfilled and slow down the CPEC.
Dealing with the current depressing situation will be a test of the skills of the economic managers, he added.

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