Budget proposals of the Senate and FPCCI should be considered seriously

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The chairman of the FPCCI Policy Advisory Board and National Business Group Pakistan, the President of the Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Wednesday that the budget proposals presented by the FPCCI and Senate deserve serious consideration.

 He said all the recommendations made by FPCCI are concrete and actionable, aiming to reduce the burden on the commoner and avoid adverse effects on production and exports.

 Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said the budget has unnecessarily burdened the salaried class, association of persons and SMEs.

 The government says that an additional 75 billion rupees will be collected from them in taxes, while economists believe that this collection will be more than 100 billion rupees, he added.

 People are being squeezed while some other sectors are taxed mildly or not, which is a clear violation of the principles of justice.

 Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government has also imposed taxes on many sectors, which will directly affect the people, and the problem of food security will become serious.

 The business leader said that the Senate has sent 128 recommendations to the National Assembly, including reducing the tax burden on the salaried class, in which a 50% reduction in indirect taxes and an increase in direct taxes are the most important. Still, there is a clear lack of political will in this regard.  

The government is responsible for prioritising the weaker sections and the people’s interests, which should be addressed. Solving the economic problems by breaking the backs of the masses will not work, but it will increase the difficulties, so relief should be given in the proposed taxes.

 Mian Zahid Hussain lauded the Federal Minister of Finance, Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb’s announcement to reduce pension expenses, advance structural reforms, and bring simplicity and reduce government expenses.

 The finance minister has also announced a tax exemption on certain essential items, including stationary, packed milk, hybrid electric vehicles, and charitable hospitals, which is commendable, he added.

The decision to keep the exporters’ local supply for the export facility scheme at zero and to take action against the vendors not part of the FBR’s merchant scheme is also correct.

The decision to give non-filers a chance to have a personal hearing before blocking their SIMS and banning them from travelling abroad is also correct.

Similarly, he demanded that exporters be maintained in fixed tax. Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the decline of big industries has stopped, and their rehabilitation has started, but the pace is very slow. In this regard, the government needs to take measures to improve things.

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