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Students urged to work hard to make Pakistan a Knowledge economy September 05, 2013
Meeting outside ICCI
Pakistan’s economy offers promising career to entrepreneurs and students should work hard to become knowledgeable professionals so that they could play a positive role in making Pakistan a knowledge economy, said Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry while addressing the students of The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology Islamabad Campus. 

He was speaking as the Keynote Speaker at the orientation ceremony organized by SZABIST for its newly enrolled students of different disciplines from Bachelor to PhD programs.
He gave students a new hope and confidence in the future of Pakistan and assured them that the current problems will be solved soon and the country would emerge as a strong economy. He said after 9/11, Pakistan’s economy had to face big challenges like terrorism, law & order problems, energy crisis etc.  If these problems were not there, today Pakistan would have become a fast developing country like China. But despite these challenges, the trade and industry performed well which shows that our economy has the potential to grow fast if provided with right policies and environment.
He stressed that instead of seeking jobs on completion of their education, students should try to start their own business ventures as entrepreneurship offers them bright career prospects in Pakistan. By becoming entrepreneurs, they would not only become financially strong, they would contribute positively to the development of national economy by providing jobs to others. 
He said Pakistan’s tax revenue was up to Rs.400-billion during 55 years i.e. from 1947-2002 while it improved up to Rs.2000 from 2002 to 2012 which shows that Pakistan’s economy remained on a better growth trajectory. But the real problem is that public expenditure always outpaced the tax revenue as expenditure increased from Rs.500 billion in 2002 to Rs.13000-billion in 2012. He urged that government should take urgent measures to control all unnecessary expenditures to get rid of the chronic problem of fiscal deficit.
He also stressed upon the need of developing a fair tax system as currently industry is overburdened with taxes. The share of industry in country’s GDP is 26 percent, but it contributes 66 percent to tax revenue while agriculture with a share of 20 percent in GDP is paying less than one percent in tax revenue. He was of the view that elimination of all exemptions and implementation of a fair tax system would encourage better tax compliance in the country.
He said students should be the embodiment of honesty, integrity, hard-work, commitment and gear up for assuming the responsibility of making Pakistan a progressive and prosperous country.
At this occasion, Dr. Bakhtiar Ali, Head of SZABIST Campus and faculty members gave detailed orientation to enrolled students about their study programs.

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