Budget 2023-24 lacks measures to stabilize economy: OICCI

Budget 2023-24 lacks measures to stabilize economy: OICCI

KARACHI: The recently announced budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 in Pakistan has drawn criticism from the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) for its lack of measures to stabilize the country’s economy.

The OICCI, representing foreign investors, expressed concerns about the budget’s effectiveness in addressing economic challenges.

Abdul Aleem, the Secretary General of OICCI, commented that upon initial assessment, the budget appeared to be an interim one with short-term measures targeting specific sectors. However, it fell short in terms of measures required to stabilize the economy.

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One notable drawback was the absence of specific initiatives to support the ambitious revenue target of Rs 9.2 trillion. Additionally, the budget lacked bold measures to broaden the tax base in the country.

Nevertheless, OICCI appreciated the positive measures introduced for the IT and agriculture sectors, as well as those aimed at promoting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

OICCI highlighted the absence of incentives for investment in manufacturing and other job-creating sectors, along with a lack of special measures to attract large foreign investments.

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The organization emphasized the need for the government to focus on attracting substantial foreign investments in order to boost economic growth.

While acknowledging the justifications behind the substantial increase in salaries and pensions for government employees, OICCI expressed concern about the potential snowball effect this decision could have on the economy.

They argued that such increases should have been accompanied by measures to improve productivity and reduce the significant cost of governance in Pakistan.

READ MORE: Pakistan’s Business Community Criticizes Federal Budget, Deems it Unrealistic

In conclusion, OICCI stressed the importance of thoroughly examining the details of the budgetary measures before giving final comments. They emphasized the need to understand the solid measures planned by the government to support the projected economic growth.