PESHAWAR - Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz has demanded inclusion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and small scale industries into special tax-relief package recently announced by provincial government as the trader community were badly affected due to outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. In a statement issued here on Monday, SCCI chief said that the provincial government had announced Rs5billion tax relief package which was highly appreciable and commendable step following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the province. However, he demanded small manufacturing units and traders community should be given interest free loans, tax relief and other incentives upto Rs10 million under the KP government announced tax-relief package.  The chamber president said that traders community were badly affected from closure of business hub, markets and shops following partial lock down and imposition of 144 by the district administration.

 

He asked the government to compensate to small industries and traders by extending special grant, interest free loans and tax-exemption. Maqsood Pervaiz termed the reduction of 1.5 per cent in interest rate announced by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as insufficient to mitigate the sufferings of businessmen and investors,called to bring down the markup rate to single digit in upcoming fiscal budget for 2020-21 in the larger interest of trade, industry and economy. He also demanded the two months extension in payment of electricity and gas bills of small industries as well as deferment loans of commercial institutions worth billions of rupees whereas he also called to bring reduction in taxes, especially for small and medium industries and businesses. SCCI president furthermore urged the government and State Bank of Pakistan to rescheduled loans which had disbursed to different business and commercial institutions and bring down markup rate to single digit. While praising decision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for issuance of refunds payments, he said the decision should be implemented with letter and spirit to ensure timely issuance of payments of refunds to industries, exporters and importers. He also demanded the reduction in electricity and gas tariffs to give boost to industrialization and generate more employment opportunities in the country.