Academics and economic analysts have praised the government’s efforts to bring the country out of the economic quagmire it was stuck in during the financial year 2012-2013, in post budget seminar organised by the Northern Regional Committee (NRC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), at a local club on Saturday.
Panellists at the seminar included Dr Waqar Masood, NRC Secretary NRC Asad Feroze, faculty member at LUMS Dr Ali Cheema and senior civil servants.
The chief guest of the event, Dr Waqar Masood praised the government’s efforts to develop the infrastructure and improve the economic situation as being unprecedented in comparison to the work of the previous governments over the past two decades.
“I have been working in the power corridors for last two decades in different capacities and the progress Pakistan made in this democratic setup in last two years is unprecedented,” he remarked. He further delineated various ways in which the government was able avoid impending economic doom and praised the federal government for saving the country from defaulting.
Dr Waqar, further added that Pakistan was isolated by international monetary institutions back in 2012 but today it has healthy relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) because of its performance record in past two years. He also explained that it was wrong to equate a good working relation with these monetary institutions with the country’s subservience to them “These institutions have been made by the collaboration of all the countries in a similar way in which United Nations (UN) was built in 1945 with the consent of all nation states” he added.
The seminar was commenced with the opening remarks by Secretary NRC Asad Feroze, and a brief introduction about the seminar was given to the audience. Thereafter council member of ICAP, Mr. Rashid Ibrahim was invited for delivering talk and giving suggestions about the effects of the changes introduced in direct taxes. Mr. Ibrahim also gave a detailed presentation, highlighted the key features of the changes in Finance Bill 2015 and gave his own critique on significant features of the budget.
Mohammad Awais, FCA, gave a presentation on Indirect taxes and gave a detailed overview in respect of the budget 2015-16 as proposed by the government. Certain proposals were appreciated and a few changes were also proposed in the budget 2015-16. Dr. Ali Cheema, prominent economist and a faculty member of LUMS also gave a presentation on the Pakistan’s Growth Conundrum and challenges for the budgetary strategy. He appreciated the government’s strategy to invest in energy sector but said that investment in energy does not increase growth rapidly. He added that Pakistan has suffered a lot due to terrorism in the last decade which has led to a decrease in overall economic growth.
A panel discussion followed to highlight various aspects of the budget and the proposed way forward. Some of the common queries and complaints regarding taxation matters were explained. The panel was engaging, with a host of pressing matters discussed and brought up in questions directed at the panellists from the attendees. Among the panelists were Shahid Hussain Asad Member Inland Revenue FBR, Naeem Akhtar Sheikh, FCA, Chairman, ICAP Taxation Committee, Mustafa Ashraf and others.
Unprecedented economic development in past two years: academics