ISLAMABAD           -        Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called for abolition of CNIC condition on business transactions in next budget. “The mandatory CNIC condition for business transactions of Rs50,000/- and above has created lot of problems for the business community besides sending lot of money out of the economy, which was not good for the country and government should abolish this condition in the forthcoming budget to facilitate the smooth growth of business activities,” ICCI President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said in a statement. He said that if abolishing CNIC condition was not possible for the government, then it should enhance the limit of transaction amount for CNIC condition from Rs50,000 to at least Rs200,000, which would bring money back into the economy, give boost to business activities and contribute towards improving the tax revenue of the government.

Waheed said that government has made mandatory to show CNIC on making purchases of Rs50,000 and above from sales tax registered persons but due to this condition, business community was facing lot of problems. He said that businesses were already suffering huge losses due to the COVID-19, so in these circumstances, government should refrain from imposing conditions that were making it difficult to promote businesses. He further said that when a buyer made a purchase of Rs50,000 or above from a sales tax registered person and defaulted, government approached the seller which was not justified. He said that when the seller had provided the CNIC of buyer, the government should approach the buyer for default instead of resorting to the seller.

The ICCI President said that government has provided an attractive package to the construction industry which would promote investment in the country. However, he said that steel and cement were an included in that package despite the fact that they were integral part of construction activities. He, therefore, demanded that government should also include steel and cement sectors in the special package of construction industry and those who invest in these sectors should be provided amnesty from section 111 of the Income Tax Act to encourage investment in these sectors. It would promote construction activities, generate more economic activity and enhance tax revenue for the government. He further said that in view of the current difficult situation, government should refrain from imposing more tax burden on the existing taxpayers in the new budget and should focus on reducing tax rates besides providing conducive environment for the growth of business activities.