ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) giving its reaction to the Federal Budget 2021-22 termed it as a balanced budget as it is expected to set the economy in the right direction enabling it to achieve better growth and expansion.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the government has accepted many proposals of the major chambers of commerce & industry, which was encouraging.
He said that the future progress and prosperity of Pakistan depended on promoting industrialization and it was encouraging that the government in the budget has reduced customs and regulatory duties on the import of raw materials and goods for many industries.
He said that the reduction in tax liability by 25% for women entrepreneurs was a welcome move and urged that the government should have considered similar relief for SMEs for their better growth.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan lauded the reintroduction of the self-assessment scheme for taxpayers as it would give them more confidence and improve tax revenue. He said that deletion of 12 withholding taxes in the budget was a positive move as these taxes were putting extra burden on the taxpayers.
However, he stressed that the government should have introduced a 2 percent fixed tax scheme for traders to realize the actual tax potential of the country and promote a documented economy. He stressed that the government should take the business community on board and address all their concerns for installation of an additional 0.5 million POS on businesses in the country.
He said that high power tariffs in Pakistan were a major cause of high cost of doing business and the government should have reduced power tariffs in the budget to make our industry more competitive for exports. He hoped that this budget would be helpful in further accelerating the pace of economic activities in the country.
Mian Akram Farid, Chairman, Founder Group termed the overall budget as positive. However, he said that the government should have announced some incentives in the budget to attract more FDI in the country. He said that Pakistan has the potential to increase its IT exports up to USD 8-10 billion for which more concessions for IT industry and e-commerce were needed.
He said that the PM’s construction package has stimulated the economic activity in this sector and the government should have announced similar kinds of packages for all industries in order to put the economy on fast track growth. He said that the exemptions in sales tax, income tax and FED given to ghee & steel industries in FATA and PATA were giving a particular disadvantage of Rs.20,000/ton to steel industries of other regions, therefore, these exemptions should be rationalized to save the industries of other regions from becoming uncompetitive.
He said that SMEs were playing a vital role in the economic development and the government should have announced cheap credit schemes for them in the budget. He said that only 300 firms were contributing 70 percent of tax revenue and the government should strive for broadening the tax base through a fixed tax regime. He stressed that the government should focus on skilled development of people to enhance the exports of manpower.
Fatma Azim Senior Vice President and Abdul Rehman Khan ICCI appreciated the reduction in capital gain tax from 15% to 12.5% and relief in FED and sales taxes on locally manufactured cars of less than 850cc and electric vehicles as these measures would boost investment in stock market and promote automobile industry.
Fatma Azim further said that the government should provide easy credit facility to women entrepreneurs in order to attract more women towards business.