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KP traders say mini-budget business-friendly

By Riaz Khan Daudzai
January 25, 2019

PESHAWAR: The business community and traders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have welcomed the mini-budget of the federal government it announced on Wednesday as a “business-friendly reforms package.”

The business leaders termed the Finance Supplementary Second Amendment Bill 2019 presented by the federal Finance Minister Asad Umar in the National Assembly, as economic reforms and relief package and hoped that would boost industrialisation and exports.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Faiz Muhammad Faizi, while recording his reaction to the mini budget on Thursday, said that the Finance Amendment Bill was actually a reforms package aimed at boosting exports and accelerating industrialisation in the country.

Fuad Ishaq, chairman board of director, Pakistan Horticulture and Export Development Company, former vice-president of SCCI Muhammad Ishaq informed that the measures taken in the Finance Bill have incorporated majority of the proposals the traders and businessmen had put forward during the meetings of the business community and traders delegations with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Finance Minister Asad Umar.

They said the measures taken in the mini-budget including the lifting of the ban on the purchase of vehicles by non-filers and removing the embargo of tax on withdrawal of the amount that starts from Rs50,000 were commendable steps would and give impetus to the economy.

It would also bring more people in the tax net which remained the longstanding demand of the business community, they said.

Faizi said earlier the account holders were required to submit withholding tax statement every month, but the mini-budget has done away with this stipulation and now they would have to submit their withholding tax return only twice a year.

He said the measure reflected the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan who is keen on creating facilities aimed at the ease-of-doing business for the business community.

Similarly, the five-year Customs Duty and Sales Tax waiver on the import of machinery for the special economic zones and doing away with Super Tax on the non-banking companies form July would also prove to be a stride to achieve the prime minister’s vision for the country economy, he added.

The measures, he said, including the abolition of duty on agriculture sector machinery, which has been reduced from 17 percent to 5 percent on all Diesel engines, were praiseworthy, he added.

He said reducing tax on small marriage halls would benefit the common man and in the housing sector tax on small houses had been reduced from 39 percent to 20 percent which was a good measure.

The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief said that the Rs5 billion for the housing sector would provide thrust to the economic activity in the country.

Fuad Ishaq said that tax exemption up to five years on all green field and alternative energy projects was a healthy incentive for investors.

Muhammad Ishaq said that tax exemption for the alternate energy power projects would afford a great opportunity for foreign companies to invest in power projects in Pakistan.

The measure would boost the confidence of the foreign as well as local investors who are seeking to in the sector.

The business leaders, however, advised the government to review “the relief and reforms package quarterly in consultation with the business community should review and make adjustments accordingly so that the country’s economic policy could be aligned with the country economic needs.