APBF & World Bank Pakistan Held a Zoom Meeting
APBF and World Bank Pakistan held a zoom meeting on Monday June 15th, 2020, to discuss economic challenges during Covid-19 period and ways to revive the economy.
World Bank Pakistan was represented by Senior Economist Mr. Gonzalo J. Varela
APBF was presented by President Syed Maaz Mahmood who also moderated the conversation and senior board members joined the meeting. APBF Board members included Mr. Amir Munir Malik, Mr. Aamir Ata Barry, Mr. Haroon Ali Khan, Mr. Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Mr. Arif Raza, Dr. Azam Chohan, Dr. Saman Yazdani Khan, Mr. Wasim Zakaria, Mr. Imran Ghani, Mr. Abdullah A. Saleem, Mr. Nasir Ali Zia and Mr. Naeem Ch.
Mr. Varela presented world bank’s proposals for revival of economic activities and increasing Pakistan’s exports. He specially talked about SMEs, LSM and traders. He introduced audience the WB program “Keep the Lights” to help businesses recover during pandemic period. He emphasised on two major interventions, i.e. Creating the Enabling Environment for Exporting & Strengthening Export Promotion Architecture. World Bank also emphasised on marketing the brand “Pakistan” through consistent promotion, quality products and increasing trade fairs
APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood highlighted the key issues faced by various business segments and urged the government and State Bank of Pakistan to follow global lending practices including mark up rate and percentage of collateral against the loan to facilitate business community.
World Bank Pakistan and All Pakistan Business Forum agreed on following recommendations to the Government of Pakistan
- Bank lending criteria and percentage against collateral and the release of remaining cushion against property/ collateral already pledged of the borrower
- One year salaries on soft loan @3% for one year salaries
- Waiver of collection of advanced tax on imports / local raw materials for industry
- E-commerce platform for industrial products like Shope5 v- utilities tariffs to be reduced by 50% and support of 50% employees salary by Government for those industries who have not laid off employees
- Import tariffs on steel manufacturing raw materials
- Support by government for COVID testing kits / PPEs to industry for its employees
- Support in operational charges for industry by government including utilities bills, rentals etc.
- Education of imports duties to increase exports and competitiveness
- Trade Accelerator Program for industry
x- reduction of sales tax additional income tax surcharge etc, to bring down cost of doing business
Participants of the meeting agreed to hold such meetings and arrange discussions for brainstorming and helping the industry revive through pandemic period and accelerate in the coming years.