FPCCI to protest, strike if reservations on Finance Bill not addressed

KARACHI: President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Daroo Khan Achakzai expressed concerns on the Finance Bill 2019, and said if the reservations were not addressed business community would resort to protest and might go on strike as the last resort.

[the_ad id=”31605″]“Every business person is worried about the cost escalation, if the proposals in the bill should get approved,” Achakzai said addressing a press conference on Tuesday.

President FPCCI said a budget reservation committee headed by Zubair Tufail had been formed, that would hold meetings with the finance advisor and Prime Minister and present the recommendations.

He said withdrawal of sales tax zero rating for export oriented sectors was a wrong decision and facility should continue. “If the zero rating facility is withdrawn, the government should ensure the refunds within a month.”

He also criticized rising prices of gas and electricity as well as depreciating currency adding doing business was not viable anymore.

Chairman United Business Group (UBG) S.M Muneer said cost of doing business had increased leaving the local businesses uncompetitive in the international market. “We support Imran Khan and we don’t want to go on strike. We will meet finance advisor on Wednesday and present our recommendations.”

Former President FPCCI Zubair Tufail said imposition of duties, FED and rescinding of SRO 1125 would result in increased smuggling, and government would be deprived of the revenue. “Services sector is also concerned about the increased taxes; the sector should be brought back to 2.0 percent tax regime.”

Senior Vice President FPCCI Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig said the Finance Bill had proposed excessive taxes due to which traders, industrialist and people were worried foreseeing hyper inflation, unemployment and increased cost of doing business.

“Hundreds of billions of rupees are already stuck up with the government; the industry is going through a severe liquidity crunch. Doing business is not feasible anymore”.

Baig said FPCCI was approaching the government prior to meeting with the opposition parties adding that leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) including Bilawal Bhutto would visit FPCCI on June 22, 2019.

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