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- Saturday, July 13, 2013 - From Print Edition


Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar has said that government is determined to resolve problems faced by businessmen community so that they could play more effective role in the development of the country and with the stabilisation of economy, all required measures would be taken to provide sufficient relief to business community.


He said this while talking to SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Zafar Bakhtawari and M/s. Farooq Iftikhar President & Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh on the sidelines of a dinner hosted by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif.


The finance minister said that strengthening the economy and resolving energy crisis are top priority of the government and for this purpose, some hard decisions have been taken in the budget to improve tax revenue. However, on meeting the tax targets and stabilisation of economy, government would come up with better relief measures for businessmen, reduce tax rates and facilitate trade and industry to flourish. He clarified that giving FBR access to bank accounts would not create any problems for businessmen and other bank customers as only FBR chairman has the authority to access bank accounts for assessment. Moreover, the existing assesses would not be asked any questions and added that if anybody has some complaints on this account, they can contact his office for redress of complaint.


Ishaq Dar said the economic team of the government has prepared a pragmatic strategy to cope with all the prevailing challenges and consequent upon implementation of said strategy, Pakistan will emerge as an important economic player at the regional & global level to assert its national dignity.


SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik expressed his confidence that the government will take all possible measures to bring country out of economic crises. He said it was vision of Mian Nawaz Shartif to make Pakistan economic tiger of Asia and expressed hope that he will take all possible steps to realise his vision.


Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Zafar Bakhtawari said that government should take business leaders on board on all important economic and other matters of national importance to develop consensus policies.


He said the hike in turnover tax from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent in recent budget would hurt businessmen interests and urged that it should be brought down to at least 0.75 per cent to provide some relief.


He further demanded that government should bring agriculture and other exempted sectors into the tax net to improve tax collection. He said businessmen want political and economic stability as these are essential to create enabling environment for growth of trade and industry and hoped that government would take measures to establish stability in the country. He also invited the finance minister to visit ICCI who assured them that whenever he got some time from his busy schedule, he would visit ICCI.