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Businessmen laud economic reforms package

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s business community at large has hailed the government’s economic reforms package announced through the second supplementary finance bill 2019 by saying it would spur the growth of important sectors of the economy.
The businessmen said that mini budget presented by the PTI government has offered good benefits to SMEs, industry, agriculture and capital market. They further said that government’s measures would help in enhancing exports and facilitating investment in the country.  Ahmed Hassan Moughal, president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI),
said that government has taken a good step for ease of doing business by allowing the businesses to file biannually withholding tax statements instead of filing them every month which was a great hassle. He said that government also reduced income tax rate from 35% to 20% on income of banks arising from loans to micro enterprises, SMEs, agriculture and low-cost housing finance which was laudable as it would help the banking sector to extend more credit to SMEs for business expansion. He said that withdrawal of withholding tax on banking transactions of filers was also a positive step as it would provide them good relief. He hoped that these good measures would reduce the cost of doing business and accelerate the growth of agriculture business and industrial activities in the country.
Rafat Farid, senior vice president, and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, vice president ICCI, said that providing five-year exemption to industrial undertakings set up between 1st March 2019 and 30th June 2023 for manufacturing of equipment used in generation of renewable energy was a commendable step as it would be helpful for producing cheap renewable energy for industry and consumers. They said that giving sales tax exemption on imported plant and machinery for green field industries would encourage green field investment and industrialization. They said that billions of rupees of exporters were stuck up with FBR in refunds, which was causing liquidity problems for them and it was encouraging that the government has allowed issuance of promissory notes to claimants of refunds at their option that would help in resolving this longstanding issue. They hoped that the economic reforms measures taken in the second supplementary finance bill would go a long way in promoting market capitalization, industrialization and investment leading to early recovery of the overall economy.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) also welcomed the mini budget. “The package has accommodated the recommendations of the business community,” said President FPCCI Daru Khan Achakzai. He further said a cut in income tax rates for banks’ profits derived from small and medium enterprises, agriculture, and low-cost housing financing would encourage investment and business expansion.
Similarly, Jawaid Bilwani, chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum has also called the mini-budget as pro exports and industry. “Reduction of customs duty on raw material and removal of withholding tax on tax return filers are very positive steps and will facilitate the export-oriented industry,” Bilwani said.
Source: The Nation