Country’s business leaders term PTI’s first budget hostile for business, people

KARACHI: The business leaders have dubbed the federal budget 2019-20 unfriendly for business and unfriendly for masses, and it would adversely impact the industrialization in the country.

[the_ad id=”32940″]“We will comment better once all the details are shares. But by the measures announced in the minister’s speech including elimination of sales tax zero rating for five value-added export sectors, we are convinced it will not bode well for the economy,” Senior Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig said.

Baig said that despite their recommendations and meetings with the concerned authorities, the government has withdrawn the sales tax zero rating for export oriented sectors. “This is the last nail in the coffin; exports would nosedive and there would be no industrial expansion.”

Chairman United Business Group (UBG) S.M Muneer said that everything had been taxed which would significantly increase cost of production leaving made in Pakistan goods uncompetitive in the international market.

“Around Rs400 billion of refund claims are already stuck-up, and these would multiply after withdrawal of sales tax zero rating as the government has no money to refund. There is going to be unprecedented liquidity crunch for the industry.”

Muneer said the PTI government had re-launched the Federal Excise Duty (FED) regime as duty in the range of 2.5 percent to 17 percent has been imposed on almost everything.

Vice President FPCCI Khalid Tawab said the minister in his speech hinted that the inflation would be controlled through monetary policy, “which suggests the central bank would increase interest rates further. If so happens the industry would close down and there would be high unemployment.”

Tawab said duties had been increased on a large number of importable goods without any measures to curb smuggling. “The legal imports would decrease further smuggling would surge manifold”.

Vice President FPCCI Arshad Jamal, representing commercial importers and customs agents, said imposition of duties on finished products such shoes, garments, blankets etc would result in higher inflation, and all these goods which were being legally imported would be smuggled, hence depriving the government of revenue.

The business leaders are unanimous that the budget is not friendly for the business and announced to register their protest without teaming up with any political party.

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