ISLAMABAD - Instead of increasing general sales tax, the government should bring GST down to 15 per cent from proposed 17 per cent, as hike in GST would create a new wave of inflation and make common man's life more miserable.

Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, senior vice president of Awami National Party (ANP), stated this while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He said Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar had himself opposed increase in GST as Senator when PML-N was in opposition and it is strange that after coming into power, he has proposed one percent hike in GST. He said Senate's Standing Committee on Finance has unanimously approved 113 recommendations in the Budget 2013-14, which have been sent to the government. He called for incorporation of these recommendations in the Finance Bill 2013 to make it a people-friendly budget.

He said every income including agriculture income should be taxed to improve tax collection. He said no one including trade and industry is satisfied with Budget 2013 as PML-N Government has made this budget in haste. He said government should take business community on board on important policies and assured that he would highlight their issues at relevant forums for resolving the same. In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that being a businessman, Senator Haji Adeel always served the cause of business community in politics. He said businessmen should have a group in Senate and National Assembly to resolve their problems and added that Senator Haji Mjuhammad Adeel should work for establishing such a group in parliament. He said businessmen are key stakeholder in the economy and it is better that govt should engage them in a continuous consultation process while formulating energy, investment, trade and economic policies so that consensus policies could be made to steer the economy out of troubles. 

Zafar Bakhtawari stressed that government should come out of the influence of IMF and make independent policies as IMP dictated policies have always caused negative impact on the business and economic activities. Munawar Mughal, former president ICCI, said that Chambers of Commerce of the country always sent budget proposals to the government, but the same were not properly entertained, which is a cause of frustration of business community.  Fazal Elahi, former Senior Vice President FPCCI also spoke on the occasion and praised the services of Haji Muhammad Adeel as Politian for the people