LAHORE - The Lahore Businessmen Front (LBF) has criticised the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s ruling group for using chamber platform to canvass for its group for the upcoming FPCCI elections.

Lahore Businessmen Front chairman Amjad Ch said that the LCCI ruling group has continuously been misusing Chamber platform, as it recently held a meeting of Punjab’s all chambers at a local hotel with the expenses of chamber. The meeting was apparently called to discuss the strategy against the regulatory duty but the actual aim was to campaign for the ruling group for FPCCI polls. He said that meeting could have been called in any of the halls of the chamber built for this purpose but as it was a political gathering it was held out of chamber with the money of members of the LCCI which is not acceptable.

LBF senior leader Sardar Usman Ghani said that the meeting could not give any strategy to remove the RD except condemning it.

He said that the controversial SRO 1035 was issued by the FBR with connivance of the FPCCI and all chambers including the LCCI, as it was imposed after their consultations. He demanded of the Ministry of Finance to immediately withdraw SRO 1035 under which 10 to 80 per cent regulatory duty has been increased on 731 items. He said that the government announced second mini budget, the levy of which duty would bring huge inflation in the country.

He said that it would not only leave adverse impact on the country's economy but would also affect the businessmen and the general public as well.

He said the SRO would add additional burden on the existing taxpayers. He said the raw materials being used in export-oriented industry would become expensive due to the regulatory duty which would result in substantial increase in input cost. As a result, our products would no longer be competitive in the international market, he added.

He was of the view that the government should evolve traders' friendly policies to generate revenue rather than taking unpopular decisions to increase revenue collection.