FPCCI holds FBR’s top anomalies committee meeting

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Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President FPCCI and Dr. Gohar Ejaz, former federal commerce minister – who are jointly chairing FBR’s Anomaly Committee 2024 from the business side – called a high-profile meeting of all chambers, trade bodies and associations at FPCCI; and, discussed the glaring anomalies in the Finance Bill and federal budget 2024 – 25 in detail on a sector-to-sector basis.

It is pertinent to note that Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President FPCCI, will be presenting the dossier of anomalies from the entire business, industry and trade community of Pakistan to the federal minister for finance and revenue to be reviewed by the federal government’s economic team and the prime minister to remove or resolve anomalies from the federal budget 2024 – 25.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh explained that, as the apex body, FPCCI will provide the government with a collective, aggregated, comprehensive, and descriptive list of anomalies creating confusion, discontent, and apprehensions. He added that we deserve a friendly budget for businesses, industry, exporters, and the economy as a whole.

Mr Atif Ikram Sheikh maintained that one of the primary measures in the budget that needs to be reviewed immediately is the withdrawal of the fixed tax regime. Exporters across all industries have unanimously demanded that a fixed tax regime be restored; under this, a 1 per cent tax on export proceeds is levied. Exporters are the backbone of the country’s economy, and, he added, this particular anomaly needs to be addressed as the top priority to protect them.

Dr Gohar Ejaz stressed that it is imperative to amend the finance bill to remove its regressive and contractionary measures to keep the economy afloat, curtail inflation, maintain the current account deficit in control, enable exporters to grow, create jobs, and generate revenues.

Dr Gohar Ejaz added that Pakistani trade and industry are already at a disadvantage compared to the region due to the unbearable cost of doing business, which has been driven up by electricity and gas tariffs, inflationary pressures in the economy, and inconsistencies in economic policymaking.

Mr Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI and focal Person for anomalies in the federal budget 2024 – 25, said that the imposition of enhanced taxes on the salaried class would further fuel the brain drain from Pakistan, which is already suffering from a shortage of skilled workforce, for its industry. Given fairness, the government should not tax the already taxed even further, he added.

Mr. Magoon further said that FPCCI advocates that the finance bill should be amended to promote industrialization in the country, facilitate import substitution, empower youth through skill development, diversify the export basket, promote IT and other emerging technologies, and reduce the cost of doing business.

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