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Tax collection witnessed 17pc raise before COVID-19 pandemic: Hammad Azhar  

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Thursday said that the revenue collection witnessed a 17 percent increase before COVID-19 stalled economic activity in the country during the outgoing fiscal year, ARY NEWS reported.

During the outgoing year, we doubled the foreign direct investment in the country and raised exports by 20 percent, Hammad Azhar said while speaking during the budget session at the National Assembly.

The minister said that not only economy in Pakistan but the international economy is also expected to contract upto six percent due to the pandemic.

“Even Pakistan had to suffer losses of upto Rs 900 billion in terms of tax revenue due to the virus outbreak,” he said adding that this would lead to a nine percent budget deficit at the end of the outgoing fiscal year.

“The virus has raised poverty and unemployment,” he said while shedding light on the measures taken by the federal government to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

Read More: Hammad Azhar says country’s economy moving towards stability before pandemic crisis

He said that they announced Rs 1200 billion relief package for poor segments of the society.

“Despite health being a provincial matter, the federal government earmarked a major sum for improving health facilities and supplies,” he said. He said that they had spent Rs 47 billion on health during the outgoing year and it will be raised upto Rs 50 billion in the next fiscal year.

He said that the government presented a tax-free budget due to COVID-19 pandemic and earmarked Rs 50 billion for agriculture subsidy and Rs 35 billion for higher education.

“A large sum is allocated for Balochistan and then Sindh province in the PSDP,” he said.

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