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Businessmen hail budget as balanced, progressive

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KARACHI: The business community has termed the Federal Budget 2021/22 balanced and progressive, as no new tax has been imposed on industry, and the rates of some of the already levied duties and taxes have been reduced.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar along with FPCCI President Nasir Hayat Maggo and PIAF Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir said that the initial impression of the budget speech of the finance minister in the National Assembly indicates that the budget is very positive for the industry.

He; however, said the budget is quiet on the power tariff, as the minister did not mention any increase or decrease in electricity tariff, which is the main concern for the industry.

Nisar said, at present, the real issue of the country is uncontrolled inflation but the budget also didn’t mention any subsidy for food items or reduction of sales tax or import duties on edibles and pulses.

He appreciated the announcement of reduction in the capital gains tax from the existing 15 per cent to 12.5 per cent, cut in Customs duty, additional Customs duty and regulatory duty on the import of raw materials for the textile sector, hot rolled coil steel sector, pharma sector (more than 350 APIs), footwear sector, cables and other 328 tariff lines.

PIAF Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir said that the government’s offer of a new uniform export facilitation scheme, exemption of federal excise duty from food and related consumable goods, cars of up to 850cc, juices and reduction in the sales tax for cars up to 850cc are appreciable measures.

The removal of withholding tax from the cash withdrawal and banking instruments, package for housing, SME support programme and fixed tax scheme, Rs100 billion package for the development of the underdeveloped areas are good measures for the country.

The inclusion of the IT exports sector in the zero-rating sector (offering tax credits, exemption of sales tax) is a right decision while measures to control the circular debt, to be implemented in the next two years, including control on line losses, increasing renewable energy, restructuring of the private power debt, etc, is also a good step, he said
Kabir said that the turnover tax was reduced from 1.5 per cent to 1.25 per cent while the government will offer interest-free loans of up to Rs500,000 to the industry, which will promote the industry.

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