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Monday June 24, 2024

FCCI demands relief in upcoming budget

By Our Correspondent
May 24, 2024
FCCI President Dr Khurram Tariq addresses a pre-budget press conference alongside other officials on May 23, 2024. — Facebook/The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and industry
FCCI President Dr Khurram Tariq addresses a pre-budget press conference alongside other officials on May 23, 2024. — Facebook/The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and industry

FAISALABAD: The Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) has called for significant relief measures for industries in the upcoming budget, including reduced electricity and gas tariffs, elimination of cross-subsidies, measures to curb smuggling, reduced interest rates, and the introduction of a fixed tax scheme for traders.

FCCI President Dr Khurram Tariq, addressing a pre-budget press conference alongside other officials, stated that while the chamber submits proposals every year, the business community’s legitimate demands are often overlooked due to IMF intervention.

Dr Tariq expressed concern that representatives from relevant sectors were not included in this year’s budget committees, causing unease within associations. He highlighted that the current high electricity and gas prices are major issues for industries and without a reduction in electricity tariffs, industries might become unable to pay taxes. The government is collecting 235 billion rupees from industries under cross-subsidies and transferring this burden to lifeline consumers, which should not be imposed on industries.

He also pointed out that the variation in gas prices across provinces is affecting industries and called for a uniform gas tariff nationwide. Dr Tariq urged the introduction of a fixed tax scheme for traders and recommended tax exemptions on the import of old machinery for the struggling SME sector. He called for a multi-pronged approach to improve the business environment, stressing faster processing and resolving of exporters’ refund claims, along with a more efficient tax collection system.

CDWP APPROVES $1.2M FOR FAISALABAD WASTEWATER PLANT FEASIBILITY: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved the concept paper for the “Faisalabad Integrated Urban Water Management Project,” for which the Asian Development Bank will provide $1.2m to prepare the feasibility study for this wastewater treatment plant project.

According to Wasa Managing Director Amir Aziz, this will be Pakistan’s first wastewater treatment project, to be constructed in the eastern part of Faisalabad city, capable of treating 66 million gallons of water daily.

The project includes the construction of a centralized wastewater treatment plant on Satiana Road, along with the establishment of decentralized wastewater treatment plants in five different villages. Additionally, the project plans to develop landscaping and recreational facilities along the site of the wastewater treatment plant and Satiana Drain.