PESHAWAR - The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has termed the federal budget for fiscal year 2020-21 a jugglery of words, disappointing and reject­ed it.

Addressing a news conference at the Chamber House here on Friday, the businessmen said that no direct relief was provided to industries and traders of the province. They expressed concern over not in­corporating the business community’s proposals in the budget. They asked the government to review its budget proposals and extend relief to the lock­down-hit small industries and traders.

Besides, SCCI Vice President, Jalil Jan, former FPC­CI presidents Ghazanfar Bilour, Haji Afzal, Haji Asif, members of the executive committee of the chamber, Aftab Iqbal, Mujeebur Rehman, Ihsanulalh, Nisarul­lah, Altaf Baig, Fazal Wahid, Abidullah, Faiz Rasool, Saddar Gul, Arshad Siddiq, Rashid Siddiq, industrial­ists, traders in a large number were present during the press conference.

SCCI President Maqsood Anwar said that the re­duction in GDP growth is not good for the country’s economy. He said the four government institutions including PIA, PRs, PSM and IPPs have turned are a elephant for which the government didn’t announce any clear policy about them.

He said Pakistan has improved its position in glob­al ranking of Ease of Doing business from 136 to 108 but the government should explain how much for­eign investment has come to the country.

The chamber president demanded of the govern­ment to extend across-the-board relief to the business community without distinguishing any specified in­dustry or sector.

He said owing to the outbreak of the novel coro­navirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the major hospitals of the country are lacking adequate medical facilities to deal with this alarming situation. But, he lamented the government has not proposed sufficient funds for the health sector in the next fiscal budget.

He demanded of the government to further bring down the markup rate from 8 to 6 per cent to re­vive businesses and stabilize hit by the covid-19 cri­sis, adding the doing business under present markup rate is not only difficult but impossible.

Maqsood said despite the prevailing equation, the 17 per cent sale tax is retained, which is highly de­plorable, adding that no one wants to bring under the tax net due to the current policy. He rejected the gov­ernment decision to increase CNIC condition from Rs50,000 to Rs100,000, demanding to defer it for next one year and completely abolish it.

The SCCI chief welcomed the allocation of Rs80 billion for supply of electricity to Special Econom­ic Zones. He expressed concern over the retaining condition of withholding tax (WHT) on transactions from banks and asked the government to immediate­ly abolish the WHT to give relief to coronavirus af­fected traders.