KARACHI: The business community has expressed satisfaction over the federal budget (2014-15) announcement and hoped that all the measures and reforms announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would be implemented in letter and spirit.
Prominent business leader Siraj Kassim Teli said that it was a positive and economic-friendly budget. “If all the measures and reforms are properly implemented with the given timeframe, it would be a great achievement of the present government and quite beneficial for the country,” he added.
Teli appreciated the proposal to impose more tax on non-filers of first-class and club-class air tickets, adding that it would have been better if this tax were imposed only on non-filers.
However, he said that certain measures particularly taxation on retailers seemed unrealistic. Teli proposed that the government should declare the computerised national identity card number as the national tax number.
Teli feared that most of the reforms would not be implemented in Karachi or a couple of other cities only, as happened in past, and stressed that the measures should be implemented throughout the country. Otherwise, this would create inequality among the masses.
Chairman Council of All Pakistan Textile Associations Zubair Motiwala termed the budget announcement positive particularly for the textile sector and said that the government had endeavored to make it an export-oriented budget.
He appreciated the duty-free import of textile machinery for two more years and proposed that the import of all industrial machinery should be duty-free.
However, Motiwala expressed some concerns about Rs500 billion rise in the revenue collection target. “It seems that Dar has not revealed everything and it is feared that there could be some hidden taxes to meet the ambitious revenue collection target,” he added.
He said that relief measures were not enough, adding that there should have been some reduction in the sales tax as the minister stressed on increasing direct taxation and reducing indirect taxation.
Talking about the proposed amendment in SRO 1125, the eminent industrialist hoped that the tax/duty structure on imports of raw material would be kept intact.
President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zaki said that over 50 percent of their proposals had been accepted. He termed it a positive budget.
Zaki pointed out that the Finance Minister had talked about many development and growth projects in all the sectors, but he did not announce any package to deal with the prevailing law and order situation in the country nor any mega project was announced for Karachi.
Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and President Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ismail Suttar declared the federal budget difficult one but said the incentives given to the export sector might help in accelerating exports from Pakistan.
He said that no revolutionary steps like imposition of income tax on agriculture income and bringing big fishes into the tax net or even taking measures to prevent major tax evasion were announced.
Suttar expressed dismay over skipping proposed Hub Dry Port from the public sector development programme as demanded by the industrialists of Balochistan, adding that the budget outlay was quite complicated and it seemed that government would have to depend on external resources than the internal ones in order to meet the budgetary allocations.
Chairman Pakistan Tanners Association South Zone Fawad Jawed termed the budget as balanced and full of incentives to the business community.
He also welcomed the establishment of Exim Bank and reduction in the export refinance rate.
Chairman Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (SZ) Arshad Aziz praised the incentives given to the exports sector in the budget announcement.
He hoped that government would clear all the pending refund claims as committed by the minister in his speech.
Source: The NEWS