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Monday July 22, 2024

SCCI terms federal budget anti-traders

By Bureau report
June 25, 2024
A view of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) building. — Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Website/File
A view of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) building. — Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Website/File

PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Fuad Ishaq on Monday termed fiscal budget 2024-25 as IMF-dictated and anti-traders and masses and wastantamount to the last nail in coffin of industry.

Addressing a news conference at the SCCI house on Monday, he said the government had presented next year’s fiscal budget by following harsh conditions of IMF, in which massive taxation measures were taken, making it clear that SCCI and business community would never accept any additional taxes and not allow to implement them and would take steps against them under an organized strategy.

He feared the budget would cause more damage to the economy, business, trade and industry.Pakistan’s economy needs taxes, but it is essential to bring new people to broaden the tax base instead of further burdening existing taxpayers with new taxation measures, Fuad Ishaq said.

He added SCCI had given a proposal to approve the government-introduced Tajir Dost Scheme for next 20 years and should give a guarantee to traders after that no new tax would be imposed on them but making this scheme part of the budget document, the Tajir Dost Scheme has become anti-trader step, therefore, business community rejects accept it.

Fuad Ishaq said taxes were exorbitantly increased in exports, which was detrimental to the country’s economy, even sales tax imposed on advance order, which is a reflection of anti-trade and business.

Calling the IPPs cancer for the country’ economy, the SCCI chief said a hefty amount of Rs 2200 billion had been paid in capacity to the IPPs from the national kitty.He said Rs 2800 billion would be paid to IPPs in the head of capacity in the next fiscal year, which was an injustice to the people and business community of the country.

Fuad Ishaq said Pesco line losses were approximately Rs102 billion and the outstanding amount in the head of electricity for KP was nearly Rs1.8trillion. If Rs 102 billion is adjusted and the rest of the amount given to KP, it would change the destiny of the province.

The Business Forum head Ilyas Bilour said the business community wanted to pay taxes but it was essential to bring new people under the tax net instead of further imposing taxes on the existing taxpayers.

Calling the budget 2024-25 anti-trader and business, Bilour rejected it, adding that the imposition of a 2 percent tax on exports was highly inappropriate and completely unjust, which had made it clear that the government didn’t want to flourish exports.