President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain last Wednesday said withdrawal of the zero-rated regime will hit masses, exporters, and the economy therefore the decision should be reconsidered. The decision will result in unemployment while per capita income can go down by three hundred dollars within three years while the competing nations will see improved per capita income during that time, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that enhanced powers and extra protection given to tax officials in the finance bill will increase taxpayers’ complaints.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that ending zero-rating will result in challenges, exports can slide to 21 billion dollars while small export industry can face closure. Some industries may become competitive and end its dependence on bailout packages and subsidies, he added.
The former minister noted that the government should reconsidered as the majority of exports and a lot of jobs are linked to textile, leather, carpets, sports goods, and surgical instruments while the decision has resulted in disappointment and frustration among the business community. It will also hit revenue and balance of payments, he said, adding that if the government has decided not to reverse the decision then it should introduce automated refund procedure as devaluation only will not be fruitful.
He said that finance bill lays less stress on finding new taxpayers and it will burden existing taxpayers and repeated audits will result in complaints and harassment for which a mechanism should be devised, he demanded.
Higher taxes on liquefied gasses to hit economy: Mian Zahid
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain last Monday said enhancing taxes on liquefied gasses will hit almost all the important sectors of the economy. Enhancing Customs duty, Federal Excise duty and Sales Tax on import of LNG and LPG will hit masses, therefore, the proposal should be reviewed, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that boosted duties and taxes on LNG will increase the price of poor man’s fuel; it will increase fare of transportation while the cost of doing business of power, fertiliser, textile and general industry will increase.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the power sector will increase cost on consumers while fertilise sector will make their product costly for farmers hitting agriculture. The textile sector will suffer which will have an impact on overall costs, exports, and employment while the move can damage CNG sector.
The former minister noted that duties and taxes have also been slapped on the LPG sector which is serving people where there is no network of gas companies. Pakistan consumes 90 thousand metric tonnes of LPG per annum in which eighty percent demand is satisfied through local production while twenty percent of the gas is imported. Increased tax would be a disincentive for masses in the far-flung areas that can opt for deforestation, he warned.
Mian Zahid said the government should promote local producers of the gas; licenses should be issued so that people of remote areas can get its benefit, and smuggling of LPG through land route should be discouraged to safeguard local industry and generate revenue.
FED on industrial units may badly hits tribal areas: Mian Zahid
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain last Thursday said imposing federal excise duty (FED) on the industrial units located in erstwhile FATA and PATA is against the national interests. The government has decided to impose FED on steel, ghee, and some other industries in tribal areas which will lead to their closure, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the move will have very serious consequences for FATA, PATA and rest of the country therefore it should be taken back without any delay.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government has reversed the SRO 1212(1)/208 which has threatened investments in FATA and PATA; it will deter further investments and stoke unemployment which may fan agitation and extremism.
The former minister noted that the area has already suffered a lot due to terrorism and such a move which is against the promise of the government may forestall the peace efforts that were at a heavy price of thousands of lives and billions of dollars of resources. Now the enemy national have started another movement in the restive areas which is becoming a threat to the country which should not be countered by military means only but economic tools must be employed to get desired results.
Those areas who were exempted from federal taxes should remain exempted according to a decision in which exemption was extended until 30th June, 2023. He noted that at one hand the government has proposed to allocate Rs152 billion for the development of Erstwhile FATA while on the other hand, it is hampering economic growth in these areas which is beyond understanding.