Businessmen term budget apparently a balanced one, good in difficult conditions
ISLAMABAD/Lahore – Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has termed federal budget 2022-23 apparently a balanced one.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Federal Budget 2022-23 apparently seems to be a balanced budget. However, a full reaction on the budget will be given after its detailed review.
He expressed these views while addressing the media at the end of the budget speech of the Federal Minister for Finance at the ICCI. He said that in the budget, the Prime Minister has shown his resolve to operationalize some special economic zones as soon as possible, which is welcome as it would boost industrialization and exports of the country. He said that the government has taken some good steps in the current budget which are commendable.
He said that tax relief on import of agricultural machinery and equipment has been given which is commendable as it will help our agriculture to develop better, improve agricultural production and instead of importing agricultural products, Pakistan will become self-sufficient in them. He said that introduction of the ADRC system was a welcome step for better resolution of tax disputes which would provide good relief to the taxpayers.
Shakeel Munir said that by introducing a fixed tax of 3000 to 10,000 for small retailers, the government has fulfilled a long standing demand of the business community and this will not only expand the tax base but also increase tax revenue. He said that a fixed tax was also levied on the marble industry in their electricity bills which was withdrawn by the previous government and demanded re-introduction of a fixed tax system for the marble industry. He said that the government has also made a good decision by allowing the adjustment of taxes at the import stage. He said that tax relief measures have also been announced in the budget for the pharma industry which is appreciable.
ICCI President said that the tax threshold for proprietors and AOPs has been increased from 4 lakhs to six lakhs which is a good move. Similarly, the tax threshold for the salaried class has also been increased from six lakhs to 12 lakhs and their salary has also been increased by 15 per cent which will provide them good relief in these tough times. He said that after a detailed review of the taxes proposed for real estate and other sectors, reaction on them would be given later on.
The government has presented a good budget in difficult economic conditions, said LCCI president.President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq stated this while addressing a press conference at LCCI.
He said that the LCCI budget proposals have been accepted in the budget. The LCCI president said that small retailers will be taxed a fixed amount (Rs.3000 to Rs.10000 as final tax) and will be collected with utility bills, adding that withholding tax for import of raw material to be made adjustable, sales tax holiday for local and imported solar panels, sales tax reversed for tractors, agriculture equipment, wheat, canola and other grains are good measures. He said that soyabean seed and grand parent poultry should also be given tax exemptions.
However, the LCCI president said that as usual federal budget is of deficit and it has not mentioned that how this would be handled. He feared that government would opt borrowing that would aggravate the economic conditions. He said that around Rs. 4000 billion have been allocated for debt serving that shows how much economy is paying to the debts.
He said that one of the best ways to reduce the budget deficit is to promote economic growth. He said that high economic growth is the finest way to reduce the budget deficit because it would also enhance the government revenues.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that a revenue collection target of Rs. 7004 billion has been set with an increase of Rs. 1400 billion as compared to the previous year. It has not been mentioned that whether new sources will be find out other the existing taxpayers will be burdened.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that withholding tax on property transfer will give a rise to the inflation. He said that special attention should be given to the information technology to boost the exports of this sector to 5 to billion dollars.
He said that the LCCI budget proposals have been accepted. The government should take measures to reduce POL products consumption. He said that no details have been given for the documentation of economy.
LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan said that the custom duty exemption has been given on more than 30 active pharmaceutical ingredients that is a good step. He said that Regulatory Duty on the raw materials of other industries should also be abolished to make them competitive.
Vice President Haris Ateeq welcomed progressive tax regime. He said that the government is going to introduce fixed tax scheme for the traders that should be discussed with the stakeholders.
He said that the indirect tax would go up and no incentives have been given for SMEs, export-oriented industry and no scheme has been announced for import substitution.