ISLAMABAD - Mian Abdul Manan, Member National Assembly, and Chairman, Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Saturday to discuss matters related to the forthcoming budget and promulgation of a new rent control act in Islamabad.

He said the spadework for the budget 2016-17 had almost been completed, and the government was trying to save the common man from any adverse effects from new tax measures.

He said the new budget would be a continuation of the government’s facilitation of taxpayers.

Abdul Manan said the proposals submitted by trade bodies, chambers of commerce and associations from across the country for the budget had been given due consideration by the government, and interests of the business community as well as the general public would be kept in view while giving final touches to the budget document.  He assured that after the budget, draft bill for the promulgation of a balanced rent control act in Islamabad, which was presented by him in the National Assembly, would be taken up for its early enactment into a law.

Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh said that Pak currency had lost sufficient value and demanded the government to double the income tax threshold, which currently stands at Rs.400, 000. He also demanded that threshold for tax on rental income of the individuals and associations of persons, as given under Sec-155, should also be doubled from its current amount of Rs.150, 000.

The ICCI president opined that 15 percent tax on the gross rental amount of companies, as given under Sec-155, was too high and stressed that it should be brought down in the forthcoming budget to single digits.

Sheikh said the government should announce a special concessionary package for regular taxpayers to give them a new identity in the society, which, he hoped, would also promote tax culture in the country.

He said that draft of a balanced rent law, prepared in consultation with all stakeholders, was with the concerned standing committee of the National Assembly since long due to which rent disputes between traders and owners were on the rise.

He asked Abdul Manan to play his role in the early passage of the said draft bill, which he hoped would help resolve rent disputes amicably and hence promote business activities.