Islamabad, Nov 26 (TNS): UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development Queen Maxima has stressed that financial inclusion is pivotal for the development and economy of Pakistan.
Addressing Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum in Islamabad on Tuesday, she said the financial inclusion will also create more opportunities for the people of Pakistan.
She pointed out that according to a survey, Pakistan has expanded financial inclusion from thirteen percent to twenty one percent. She said this progress is welcomed. However, she stressed there is great potential of more rapid change particularly for women and the poor.
The Queen of the Netherlands was appreciative of the government’s revised financial inclusion strategy targeting sixty five million active digital accounts by 2023 including twenty million to be held by women.
In his remarks on the occasion, Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said the government is committed to increase the financial inclusion and has also set targets for this purpose. This, he said, include hundred percent digital payments of the government.
Hammad Azhar said the government is preparing a policy to uplift the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The Minister said the government has also taken many other initiatives to promote the SMEs including Kamyab Jawan Program to provide subsidized loans to the youth.
Hammed Azhar noted that the SMEs are backbone of our economy and they have an important role in exports and the economic growth.
The Federal Minister said government is also giving special emphasis on ease of doing business. He said Pakistan has jumped twenty eight points in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking. This , he said, is a great achievement and expressed the confidence that the country’s ranking will further improve next year.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi said the country’s economy is being documented.
He regretted that no effort was made in the past to bring the SMEs into the tax regime. The SMEs remained out of the tax system due to the lack of taxation friendly environment.
The Chairman however, said the present government is taking serious efforts to bring the SMEs including those in the manufacturing sector to the tax system.
The Chairman said we have embarked upon the tax reforms program and the focus of it on the simplification of tax laws to bring more people to the tax net.
On the occasion, State Bank of Pakistan and Karandaz signed an MOU for micro payment gateway. This gateway will help the individuals and businesses to send and receive payments immediately in a transparent manner. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Dutch Queen.