FPCCI's UBG demands business friendly, export-oriented, pro-poor budget

Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s United Business Group (UBG) on Monday demanded a business-friendly, export-oriented and pro-poor people budget to gear up trade activities, besides restoring the confidence of investors with a basket of lucrative incentives to attract foreign investments.

Chairing a meeting of industrialists and traders, UBG Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik said the government was considering their all proposals at all levels and discussing in detail about their incorporation in the coming annual federal budget, said a press release.

He said the Prime Minister’s Office had sent the UBG proposals to the finance and commerce ministries as well as FBR and other relevant departments, which, he added, were in the final stage of approval by the competent authority.

Malik said all proposals were mainly aimed at ensuring growth-oriented and business-friendly environments to boost economic activities in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, prevailing political turmoil and economic upheaval grappling the country.

He said Pakistan was passing through crucial times due to the deadly pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict, and chaotic political conditions, adding, “At this uncertain time, the business community has come forward with a clear vision to stamp out the quagmire of prevailing critical crisis”.

UBG with the consultation of all stakeholders tailored such viable proposals which would ultimately help the government to revive the economy through the upcoming budget, he added.

Malik said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was highly appreciative of the contribution of the traders and the business community towards strengthening the economy and promoting a tax culture regime.

He said UBG fully supported bringing the identified millions of non-taxpayers into the tax net to lessen the burden on existing taxpayers, broaden the tax base and promote tax culture in the country.

The next budget should also feature a balanced tax collection approach and the government must adopt a strategy for documentation of the economy, he added.

The UBG chairman also thanked the government for their assurance of all viable budget proposals in the forthcoming budget.

Earlier on Sunday, a joint delegation of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and Mutual Funds Association (MFA) of Pakistan called on Dar, as they gave certain proposals to encourage people to invest in the stock market and the formulation of the upcoming budget.

As the PSX representatives of PSX highlighted the erosion of market capitalization over the last six years, the finance minister too expressed his concerns over the issue but hoped that the trend would be reversed.

He noted that PSX was at one time one of the best performing stock markets and assured the group that their concerns would be addressed and measures would be taken to encourage investment in Pakistan.

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