PESHAWAR (Staff Reporter): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Ministry has announced to form an advisory committee comprising members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its minister said on Wednesday.

The committee will assist provincial finance ministry in formulating policies regarding economy and annual budget, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Muzaffar Said. The minister was addressing a session chaired by KPCCI President Zulfiqar Ali Khan at the Chamber House.

The KPCCI president demanded the government to exempt the terrorism-affected business community from all kinds of taxes.

KPCCI Senior Vice President Ammad Rashid, Vice President Shuja Muhammad, former KPCCI Presidents Ghaznafar Bilour, Zahidullah Shinwari, Sharafat Ali Mubarak, Additional Finance Secretary Daud Khan, chamber's executive committee members Shehriyar Loshi, Rashid Iqbal, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Flourmills Association chairman Malik Iftikhar Ahmed Awan, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Haji Muhammad Israr, Abdul Qadir Saraf, Saddar Gul, Fazal Wahid, Abidullah, Muhammad Shafique, Khan Gul Awan, Sohail Rauf, Muhammad Nisar, Akbar Shiraz and others were present on the occasion. Addressing the session, Zulfiqar Ali Khan demanded that the business community should be taken into confidence before preparation of provincial budget and during formulation of policies on economy.

He also said that half of the amount received under the National Finance Commission from the federation should be spent on development of businesses.

Zulfiqar added that business community of the province had rendered sacrifices in war against terrorism and KP government should provide relief to the businesspersons, as done by the federal government.

He said the business community will never accept double taxation. The KPCCI president demanded of the government to include chamber's representatives in the committee set up for Peshawar's beautification under Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai.

He also demanded an end of double taxes and launching of a scheme to give loans to traders and industrialists on lower mark-ups. The chamber president said the authorities should find new taxpayers instead of overburdening the business class with more taxes and to consult the KPCCI over affairs of the KP Revenue Authority.

Finance Minister Muzaffar Said agreed with the recommendations of Zulfiqar Khan and said the provincial government in general and finance ministry in particular will consult KPCCI over economic policies and budget preparation.

The minister invited the chamber president to a meeting on NFC being held today (Thursday).

He also asked Zulfiqar Ali Khan to forward him three to four names for inclusion in the finance advisory committee, which will assist the provincial finance ministry in formation of budget and other policies related to economy.

The minister added that the province had received Rs 24 billion from the federation as net hydel profit during 2014-15.

He said that this year (2015-16) the province had received Rs 4.5 billion.

He said that the province had received Rs23 billion as power and gas royalty so far.

He said the business community is the backbone of economy and their problems would be solved on priority basis.

He also assured to take up the issues of the chamber with the federal government and said the provincial government was taking measures for development of business and trade.

Ghazanfar Bilour, Zahidullah Shinwari, Sharafat Ali Mubarak, Ammad Rashid, Shehriyar Lodhi, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Muhammad Shafique and Sohail Rauf also addressed the meeting.

The speakers discussed provincial budget and issues related to Cantonment Board Peshawar and Industrial Estate Hayatabad.