LAHORE - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the United Business Group (UBG) Wednesday unanimously demanded the immediate payment of export rebate of Rs 300 billion, restoration of Engineering Development Board and slashing the ever increasing power and gas tariffs besides withdrawal of unjustified heavy slabs of taxation on industry thus increasing cost of production in addition to addressing the anomalies in budget.

The demands were made by President FPCCI Zubair Tufail who called on Chairman United Business Group and Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik. Criticizing the current fiscal budget, Zubair said that major chunk of industries especially textile and leather are suffering colossal financial loss and need immediate oxygen otherwise industrial sector will be collapsed. He said that nearly 200 textile and leather units are forced to shut down because of heavy taxation and absence of relief from the government.

Senior Vice President of FPCCI Aamir Ata Bajwa, Zonal Chairman FPCCI Punjab Manzoor Ul Haq Malik, President Lahore Chamber Abdul Basit were also present on the occasion.

He said that national economy of every country in the world is based on its export but unfortunately Pakistan’s export is declining with every passing day which he warned is not a good omen.

He said that in pre budget preparation meetings none of the traders leader and Federation of Pakistan Chamber was taken into confidence. He said despite commitments, no meeting has so far been convened for removal of anomalies.

Zubair Tufail stressed the urgent need for introducing pro poor, business friendly, export and growth oriented monetary policies to help strengthen the national economy on sound footings besides restoring the confidence of foreign and local investors.

Chairman United Business Group and Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik said that UBG will never ever compromise on interests of the business community and take their genuine budget related grievances to high ups for immediate redressal. He said that auto industry and agricultural sector is not showing proper growth. He further said Pakistan’s auto market is considered among the smallest, but fastest growing in South Asia and the government following its own "Auto Policy 2016-21" should offer tax incentives to new automakers to establish manufacturing plants in the country. He said that Engineering Development Board in past played significant role for promotion of hardware engineering in the country and it was weird why the government dissolved this important department. He demanded the government to restore it as soon as possible.

He said large number of participation of trade leaders in conference from all provinces has reflected the nationwide popularity of the  group. He assured that he will hold special meeting with Federal Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar and newly appointed Chairman FBR Tariq Pasha for seeking immediate relief for the industry.

He said that survival of the Pakistan is directly linked with better economy followed by stable political government. He said that none of the traders in the whole country is happy with levy of irrational taxation on industry. He said that the government should offer special package of power and gas tariffs for rapid industrial growth on the pattern of China. He said as a result of high tariffs and taxation, cost of production is increasing and cannot compete in global market thus badly hampering export substantially.