RAWALPINDI - The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Saturday forwarded budget proposals to the government while demanding tax-free budget. The proposals underlined the need for taking immediate steps to restore ailing industry and broaden tax net instead increasing tax slabs, President RCCI Asad Mashadi said. While elaborating on the proposals, he said that tax on housing and construction sectors should be reduced. He also said that the withholding tax on withdrawals from the banks should exceed from 0.1 percent. Due to high rate of withholding tax, people have left dealing with banks and illegal business of Hundi is on the rise. He suggested that 15 percent tax should be fixed on limited firms, instead of 20 to 35 percent. He said that the biggest of all challenges was overcoming the current energy crisis, which had affected business badly. The issue needs resolution on war footings, he added. He also said, We are living in the age of information technology and automation has become imperative for every sector so it is suggested that import duty on computers and its components should be cut down. He suggested that surcharge on electricity bills should also be withdrawn to give relief to consumers. He said that 10 percent sales tax should be charged on raw material while on finished products it should be 12 percent. The existing rate of 15 percent sales tax is the highest in the entire region. It is necessary that the government should cut down tax rates on petroleum products as at present the government is getting Rs 25.46 as tax per litre diesel, Rs 36.49 on HOBC and Rs 17.95 on kerosene oil. He also proposed tax on agriculture sector pleading exemption for small farmers. Commenting further on agriculture, he said that poultry industry was facing crisis for the last two years and the government should compensate it at least by not treating it industry in power tariffs.