Stepping back under traders’ strikes to be traitorous: PM Imran

Premier for industry’s role to steer country out of economic difficulties


GUJRANWALA: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday he considered stepping back over the fear of strikes by Pakistan’s traders and the business community to be traitorous to the country. If anyone believed that he would backstep consequent to the countrywide strikes by Pakistan’s business and trading fraternity, Khan said, they should that he would do no such thing.
He announced that government has decided to launch a special application for tax returns which would bring more people into the tax net. Addressing an award distribution ceremony of the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce, the prime minister invited the traders’ community and industrialist to work as a team with the government. Only 1.5 million pay tax out of the 220 million people in Pakistan. Pakistan can overcome the economic issue if citizens start paying taxes.
About 70 per cent out of total tax was being paid by 300 companies alone whereas the ratio of paying taxes in the service and agriculture sectors was dismal, said PM Khan. He said that government is making all-out efforts to curb the money laundering and has discussed the issue with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He vowed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government would make Pakistan a great country, adding that the country cannot be run like it was governed by previous rulers.
The premier said that he doesn’t have any property outside Pakistan like other rulers who laundered money and made properties abroad. I was born in Pakistan and will die here, he said adding that Pakistan will move forward and prosper soon. He expressed the confidence that with collective efforts, the incumbent government would surpass the current difficult phase of economy.
Prime Minister Imran Khan mphasized the key role of industry to steer the country out of economic difficulties. The Prime Minister assured that government will lift the industrial sector up with friendly policies. He said a golden triangle is being established comprising Gujranwala, Gujrat and Sialkot to facilitate the industry.
Referring to the burden of debts on economy, the Prime Minister said half the taxes collected last year were spent on paying the interest on existing loans. He said the government is determined to expand the tax net. The government will provide facilitation to people and resolve the problems they face in filing of returns. He said only one point five million people pay taxes out of population of two hundred and twenty million which is a very low proportion. He said steps are being taken to improve performance of Federal Board of Revenue.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan will use a small aircraft of Pakistan Airforce instead of Pakistan International Airline’s plane for his upcoming visit to the United States. The prime ministers of previous governments used to fly in PIA’s planes for their foreign trips which incurred losses to the national carrier. On the invitation of President Donald J. Trump, PM Khan will embark on a visit to the US on July 21. The prime minister will meet President Trump at the White House on July 22 to discuss a wide range of bilateral and regional matters.
The PM’s US visit would be the first summit-level engagement between Pakistan and the United States since both leaders assumed their respective offices. During his various engagements in Washington, the prime minister will outline his vision of Naya Pakistan and underscore the importance Pakistan attaches to a broader and multi-faceted relationship with the United States.
In the regional context, the premier will underscore Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability and the importance of constructive engagement to promote a political solution in Afghanistan.

He will also highlight Pakistan’s policy of ‘peaceful neighbourhood’ aimed at resolving disputes through dialogue and promoting the vision of peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia and beyond.

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