Thursday September 16, 2021

ICCI finalises proposals for budget

Islamabad : Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that Chamber in consultation with business community has finalised its budget proposals, which have been sent to the relevant departments and called upon the government to incorporate them in the Federal Budget 2020-21 as their implementation would address the key issues of trade and industry, facilitate better growth of business activities, improve tax revenue of government and help in revival of economy.

Dilating upon the key features of proposals, he said that the impact of Covid-19 has badly affected business and industrial sector and stressed that government should bring down GST and policy interest rate to 5 percent in order to ease the difficulties of business community. It would reduce the cost of doing business, encourage new investment, promote industrialization and create plenty of new jobs for the countless jobless people.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that turnover tax u/s-113 should be reduced from current 1.5% to 0.25% or zero percent for the next 3 years for manufacturers and downstream retailers/traders. He said that to combat the impact of COVID-19, government should defer the requirement of CNIC for sales transactions of Rs50,000 and above till June 2022 that would ease the problems of businesses. He said that government had introduced an industrial support package in 2016 to provide subsidy of Rs.3/unit on off-peak and on-peak electricity that was withdrawn later on. He said that keeping in view the difficulties of industries, government should restore that package in the next budget.

ICCI President said that currently sales tax on services in ICT was 16% while this rate on certain services was reduced to 5% without input tax claim. He stressed that a uniform ST rate of 5% may be introduced on services in ICT to remove such discrepancies. He further said that government through an ordinance has provided exemption from Sec-111 of Income Tax Ordinance 2001 to investors for investing in construction sector, which was an encouraging move. He urged that this incentive should also be provided to all other industrial sectors in the forthcoming budget to promote investment and industrialization.