Lahore, May 31, 2016 (PPI-OT): President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Muhammad Arshad has urged the government not to withdraw the Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) benefiting trade, industry and economy.
He was talking to a delegation of the representatives of various markets led by Waqar Ahmed Mian here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. Khawaja Aamir, Haroon Arora, Mian Abdul Razaq, Safdar Butt, Muhammad Anwar Bobi, Khalil Abeer, Hafiz Rizwan Butt, Waqas Butt, Mian Saeed, Mian Waseem, Muhammad Shahid and Muhammad Nadir also spoke on the occasion.
The LCCI President said that government is expected to withdraw around Rs. 130 billion worth concessionary SROs of customs duty, sales tax, income tax and federal excise duty in federal budget 2016-17 that is not at all a good news for trade, industry and economy as whole. He said that withdrawal of concessionary SROs jack up the cost of doing business in the country. He said that at present when trade and industry suffering due to delay in refund claims and various other internal and external challenges, withdrawal of concessionary SROs would add to the worries of the business community.
He said that though the budget document has been finalized for presentation but still there is a lot of room for induction of business community’s proposals as after presentation, budget document would be presented in the National Assembly for debate and final approval.
The LCCI president informed the delegation members that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has aware the policy corridors of the reservations of business community and forwarded well consulted budget proposals.
He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop attaching of business accounts, release long pending refund claims of income tax and sales tax and withdraw withholding tax immediately.
He said that attaching of business accounts is not only forcing business community to use parallel system for transactions but also discouraging the honest taxpayers. He said that attachment of the bank accounts should be the last option but the RTOs/LTUs are wasting no time in taking punitive action to meet the revenue targets.
Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that Federal Board of Revenue is also urged to release long pending refund claims of income tax and sales tax of business community. He said that delay in release of huge funds of around Rs. 250 billion triggered serious liquidity crunch for the exporters and manufacturers. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has suggested issuance of banking bonds for large amount of refunds withheld since years.
He informed the delegation that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also raised the issues of double taxation, smuggling and Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess (PIDC).
He said that Punjab government has also been urged to withdraw PIDC that is a double taxation and bound to destroy business activities in the province. This Cess will force business community clear their consignments from other provinces and dispatch to the different parts of the country which would occur huge loss to the Punjab economy.
“Government has been urged to tackle the issue of smuggling with iron hands, reduce the discretionary powers of tax machinery and prefer the local manufacturers for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There should be no duty or tax on import of industrial machinery and a fully empowered National Tax Commission should be established to resolve tax related issues.
He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is taking up these issues with full force and would continue its struggle for the sake of trade and industry.
Head of the delegation Waqar Ahmed Mian invited the attention of people sitting on the helm of affairs towards the markets saying that traders are deprived of even necessaries amnesties. He said that their encroachment, parking and infrastructure related issues should be resolved. He also called to focus on health and education sectors in the Federal Budget 2016-17.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan