Lahore - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has once again urged the Punjab government to withdraw Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess (PIDC) in the larger interest of trade & industry of Punjab.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said the government should take decision immediately in this regard so that unrest among the business community could come to an end. Arshad said that business community was expecting that Punjab government would issue the notification of withdrawal of PIDC. “But no action has been taken so far in this regard,” he bemoaned.

He said that imposition of Cess was a sort of double taxation, and would further burden the existing taxpayers, who are already coping with a number of challenges. “After the Cess came into force, businessmen started moving their consignments to other provinces to avoid this tax, which would not only hurt businesses of clearing agents and transportation companies that provide employment to thousands, but would also cause huge damage to the provincial exchequer,” Arshad elaborated.

The LCCI president also termed Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess as an indirect tax, adding it would be charged on the movement of goods, including raw materials cleared at dry ports of Punjab, and will ultimately prove to be an impediment for economic growth of the province.

He demanded that businessmen of Punjab should be given some breathing space to supplement the Punjab government efforts aimed at economic revival of the province.

He said that, at present, when businessmen of Punjab were trying their best for progress and prosperity of the country, they needed a helping hand from the Punjab government.

“There is a dire need for avoiding new taxations on the businessmen like Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess, as they are not in a position to bear more burden,” he added.

Arshad hoped that the Chief Minister would take up the matter personally, and withdraw the Cess in the larger interest of the business community.