SMEs have $40b export potential: Iqbal

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had the potential to generate around $40 billion annually through export-oriented businesses.

Speaking at the launching ceremony for a Karandaaz report via Zoom, the federal minister stressed the need for making the tax collection system more effective and increasing exports to sustainable levels on a war-footing.

“We will have to promote export culture in the country,” he said, adding that the government was facing serious economic challenges that could be tackled with an effective taxation system, increase in exports, productive use of workers’ remittances and foreign investment.

“The federal government’s tax revenue and non-tax revenue stood at Rs5,200 billion whereas we inherited a liability of Rs5,000 billion on account of debt payment,” Iqbal pointed out and reaffirmed the government’s resolve to take the tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio from 9.5% to 18% with prudent economic policies.

He was of the view that the country would have to explore new resources to increase its income, otherwise all the generated revenue would be spent on debt servicing.

The minister suggested that the remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis should be used in different businesses instead of investing in the real estate sector as the government was taking steps to facilitate investment in business.

Courtesy Express Tribune