General Qamar Jawed Bajwa held a meeting with the business community on Wednesday in Rawalpindi. The general was accompanied by the economic team of the country, including FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, Minister for Economic Affairs HammadAzhar and the Minister for Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.
Right after the meeting on Wednesday, analysts argue that the main reason for the meeting was the CNIC based invoicing policy of the government. The FBR was very strict on the issue and was not ready to back down from this policy. However, the businesspersons said that not even a single client is ready to buy their goods under this condition and no one was willing to provide his/her CNIC. The economics team was of the view that the condition is one of the IMF’s $6 billion bailout package’s settlement, which was signed by Pakistan’s officials. HammadAzhar said that the IMF program is front-loaded like all other previous programs. Overall, the economic team was of the view that the CNIC based invoicing policy cannot be reversed since it is the condition if the IMF. Experts argued that this policy would have to be removed, as a confrontation with the business community is the last thing that the government wants. They added that the government would have to work on a settlement with the IMF officials and would have to provide some slack to the business community.
Another main issue discussed in the meeting was the NAB issued notices. The Business Community claimed that there was not a single businessman, present in the meeting who has not been contacted by the NAB officials for investigation. The added that NAB is creating a lot of difficulties for the business community and that it’s activities need to be observed and limited through policy measures