SCCI chief calls for review of budget proposals

PESHAWAR    -  Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Fuad Ishaq on Wednesday said that the government attempted to present a progressive budget for fiscal year 2025-25 but the business community was expecting a revolutionary budget which wasn’t seen.

Addressing a news conference after the presentation of the federal budget by Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb at the floor of the National Assembly , Fuad Ishaq called for a review on the budget proposals, and urged to make them business-friendly in consultation with the businessmen and relevant stakeholders.

The SCCI proposals were not incorporated, he said, however some of the proposals presented in the budget were appreciated by the chamber and business community. Fuad Ishaq futher said that tax-collection target was set for the next fiscal year seems difficult to achieve.

He added tax-proposals presented in the budget would be a proven hurdle in progressive economy and Pakistan.

He emphasised that it is essential to make a reduction in the ratio of taxes, particularly to bring down sales tax to one percent of the total turnover, and adding the increase in tax ratio would increase undocumented transactions, which would be detrimental for the country’s economy.

During the presser, the SCCI vice presidents Sanaullah, Ejaz Afridi, former vice presidents Zia-ul-Haq, Imran Mohmand, executive members, trade leaders and member of the business community were also present.

Fuad Ishaq hoped that CPEC-II would increase investment in the country and provide maximum employment opportunities for establishment of new industries. The SCCI chief welcome the introduction of Tajir Dost Scheme, however this scheme should be passed by Parliament for next 20 years and must give sovereign guarantee to traders that no new tax would be imposed after this scheme.

The SCCI president termed the IPPs as cancer for national economy and country and demanded to immediately get rid the nation of it. He said PESCO and SNGPL should be handed over to the army as these institutions cannot be fixed without the army.

In reply to a query, Fuad Ishaq said that SCCI had given proposals for reduction in tax ratio to signal digit, relief and duty-free import of machinery and other business-industry friendly recommendations but these were not incorporated in the budget. He said there is nothing special for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and PATA, except some funds allocations.

The SCCI president called for deregulating the economy and initiatives for uplift of the agriculture sector. He also said that national institutions going on in losses should be privatized forthwith.

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