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‘Expand tax base to break begging bowl’

ECONOMY REMAINS MAJOR CONCERN AT NSC MEETINGS: COAS BAJWA

By Staff Reporter

KARACHI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has said Pakistan needs to expand its tax base, bring in financial discipline and ensure continuity of economic policies to be able to break the begging bowl, the military’s media wing reported. “The economy is showing mixed indicators. Growth has picked up but the debts are sky high. Infrastructure and energy have improved considerably but the current account balance is not in our favour,” the army chief reportedly said while addressing a seminar on ‘Interplay of Economy and Security’ yesterday. He also shared that economy remains a major concern during National Security Council meetings, also revealing that he reads the business and economy page of the newspaper right after the main page because of its importance. “Pakistan is capable of creating sufficient fiscal space to address underlying structural problems through tax reforms, documenting economy, diversifying the export base, and encouraging savings to finance a level of investment that could sustain growth rate higher than the rise of population,” but the benefits should also reach all parts of Pakistan, including interior Sindh, Fata, Balochistan and Southern Punjab, he said. “We cannot afford to leave a large segment of our youth with limited options — madrassahs must enable their students to become useful members of the society who are not left behind in any field of life.” The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is “a complete development platform that has the potential to act as a powerful springboard for shared development in the entire Central Asia-South Asia region,” Gen Bajwa said.

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