LAHORE  - The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Monday held its Third budget session, seeking proposals from its members for the federal and provincial budgets for 2015-16 at its Punjab regional office in Lahore with FPCCI Regional Chairman Zarar Kaleem in the chair.

Kh.Zarar Kaleem said that the proposals should be regarding sales tax or VAT, income tax, federal excise duty, customs duty, rationalization of taxes and duties and the withholding tax regime.

He said that for a greater interaction with the trade and industry associations and to prepare workable proposals for the upcoming budget for the year 2015-16, FPCCI has started working on sound footings which will be workable for the government.

Zarar Kaleem said that tax system should be simplified, consisting on one page and printed in urdu, NTN may be issued before staring any business. Smuggling and under invoicing are damaging our local importer or industry it should be controlled strictly, he added.

Former President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and industry Muhammad Asif said that if sales tax was levied at the rate of 5 per cent on the zero-rated sector – textile, leather, carpet, sports goods and surgical instruments – it would prove as a last nail in coffin of export-oriented industries. He showed his dismay that although the country had achieved the GSP plus status, around 40pc value added textile industry had already been closed, thereby causing further decline in export and creating unemployment in the sector. There should not be harassment in the business community in the shape of raids or any kind of notices. He added the FPCCI has always highlighted business community’s issues at all forums.

It has a very clear stance on construction of large water reservoirs, high markup rate, high banking spread, highest ever government borrowing from domestic and international channel, tax-to-GDP ratio, under invoicing, good governance, law and order and shortage of energy. It has been raising voice on these issues and would continue to do so with full vigor in future as well.