KP businessmen reject federal budget

peshawar    -   The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday rejected the federal government’s annual budget 2022-23 terming it as an IMF-dictated budget, saying that no relief measures were taken in the budget despite the difficult and uncertain economic situations.

Speaking at a news conference at Chamber house, after the presentation of the federal annual Budget 2022-23 by Federal Minister for Finance, Miftah Ismail, on the floor of the National Assembly, the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Hasnain Khurshid termed the budget estimates presented by the government as highly disappointing and prepared purely on dictations of IMF. He rejected the federal budget saying it isn’t growth oriented, anti-business and against the poor people.

Flanked by the SCCI’s office bearers including Imran Khan, Javed Akthar, former president Faiz Muhammad Faizi, Industrialist Association Peshawar president Malik Imran, and executive members, Mr Khurshed said the budget was encouraging as new measures were proposed to give relief to the business community. However, he said some initiatives were proposed in the budget, which are insufficient to bring the ailing economy on the right track and flourish industries and businesses in the country.

Mr Khurshid further said that the incumbent coalition government when came into power made some announcements, so the budget is also a reflection of these declarations. He complained about not incorporating their proposals into the budget.

The SCCI chief mentioned that the government had already announced an increase in the electricity tariff by 45 per cent, which is likely to be implemented in July next. Similarly, prices of natural gas also increased exponentially, he lamented.

On the other hand, fuel prices were frequently increasing, and the dollar rates also touched new peaks, he said. These basic factors are hurting industrial growth, businesses and the overall economy, he said, adding he termed it completely unjust and unfair with the business community in prevailing uncertain economic situations.

In reply to a query about the announcement of exemption of load shedding on industrial electricity feeders, Mr Khurshid welcomed the proposal and hoped that would be implemented. He also appreciated the alternate dispute resolution council (ADRC) regarding expediting tax-related cases. The SCCI chief also hailed the waiving of regulatory duties on more than 350 items and a 15 per cent tax on the agriculture sector.

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