ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said that contribution of traders and business community is a pre-requisite for economic progress in the country.
He was addressing the 28th Achievements Awards Ceremony organized by Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here late Thursday.
The Finance Minister said it is great pleasure for him to be among top performing businessmen and personalities from other spheres who have played a key role in socio-economic uplift of the country.
“I have closely interacted with members of the business community, they have contributed well by putting forth proposals for tax reforms”, Finance Minister added.
The Minister said, he is fully aware of the problems of the business community and assured that the government is devising policies that can address their genuine issues in an appropriate manner.
“Let’s sit together, discuss issues and resolve them and it should be the spirit”, Minister Dar said.
The Minister on the occasion said he wants to convey the message to the investors around the world that Pakistan is excellent destination for the foreign investors.
“All international rating agencies have given us positive ratings, the latest is Fitch which has awarded us a “B” rating,” he added.
The country’s forex reserves stand at a record US $ 18.56 billion and the inflation rate in July -August 2015 has been the lowest in over a decade at less than 2%.
Highlighting the economic performance of the government, he said during last two years, the GDP growth accelerated, revenue collection witnessed 16 percent increase and crossed Rs. 2478 billion mark.
He said, after a long gap Pakistan has re-entered the international bond market and issued bond and sukuk that had received overwhelming response and the bond was 14 time over subscribed.
The minister said that operation Zarb-e-Azb was started to eliminate terrorism from the country by taking all the political forces on board and it was heading to its successful completion.
He said Karachi operation was also started to restore peace in the city and due to it about 85 percent crime rate was reduced, businessmen were expressing satisfaction.
There has been 33% increase in the revenue generation in the last two fiscal years – this is all reflective of stability in economy, Dar added.
He also said just two days ago we announced establishment of telecom centers in the areas of Zhob, Shangla and Sibi.
“We want to facilitate people even in the remotest areas of the country,” Minister remarked.
He said a Korean delegation is currently visiting Pakistan and would help in the field of telecom and IT.
He said with our focus on the energy, economy, education and addressing the scourge of extremism the future will offer excellent opportunities to potential investors in Pakistan.
“We have an equal resolve to improve lives of the poorest of the poor with increased focus on health and education,” he added.
Appreciating the role of RCCI in the development of the country, the Finance Minister said, “RCCI has contributed in a number of development activities and it is well represented in government, semi-government and private sector projects.”
Some of the excellent examples of contribution of RCCI are Islamabad Stock exchange, Islamabad Dry Port and RCCI Industrial Estate Rawat; these milestone projects are an example of how RCCI is involved in the uplift of the trader community of the region.
The Minister later gave away achievement and honorary awards to top performers in the fields of business, commerce, industry, education and social welfare.
He congratulated the winners and RCCI team, especially President of the RCCI, Syed Asad Mashhadi who arranged the ceremony in a befitting manner.