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Jamadi-ul-Awwal 17, 1440 A.H.
January 24, 2019

ECONOMIC REFORMS PACKAGE
Asad Umer thank you and well-done!

KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli and President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda are appreciative to Finance Minister Asad Umer for presenting the Economic Reforms Package in which numerous recommendations given by the Karachi Chamber have been incorporated. “We hope that the remaining recommendations will also be included in near future which would boost the economy, promote industrialization, create employment opportunities and help in bringing down the rising trade deficit”, they added.While thanking the Finance Minister for giving due consideration to KCCI’s proposals, they said that it was a ‘job well done’ in which many lacunas have been removed and it clearly indicates the directional change that would help in dealing with the economic crises, bring down the cost of doing business and also ensure ease of doing business. The measures taken have sent a positive message to the trade and industry in Pakistan which will help achieve the stated goal of creating a conducive environment for investment and improve Pakistan’s ranking on EODB.

Siraj Teli and Junaid Makda said that removal of With-holding Tax on cash withdrawals from bank accounts by filers has sent a positive signal to the business community in general and SMEs in particular to conduct business without fear or apprehension which will also help to raise bank deposits while discouraging cash economy.They opined that restoration of FTR for commercial importers is also a major step taken by the government in the supplementary finance bill which was proposed by KCCI. This decision will prevent unnecessary audits of tax-payers who are already paying WHT at a very high rate. The measure will also support the SMEs who do not have the capacity to go through lengthy audit process.Government has also addressed the long outstanding issue of Sales Tax Refunds to exporters by issuing Promissory Notes with 3 year maturity, which will help to improve the liquidity and working capital requirements of the exporters, they added. They said that it was really heartening to note that the government has withdrawn critical taxes on capital market, simplified procedures for setting up businesses and undertaking investment, facilitated the industry, agriculture and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs).They also expressed satisfaction on government announcement to abolish all taxes including sales taxes on green field projects while the decision to exempt investments in green field projects from income tax for 5 years would also yield positive results and prove favorable for the economy.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairmen BMG & Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, Senior Vice President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid, Former Senior Vice President Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi also welcomed reduction in Customs Duty on certain raw materials and appreciated the government’s move to eliminate Super tax on non-banking companies and the decision to maintain 1 percent annual reduction in corporate income tax, which would help in reducing the cost of doing business for industries. However, they said that the major issue of vast disparity in WHT and Sales Tax on import of Raw Materials by Commercial Importers and Manufacturers remains unresolved, they noted while referring to KCCI’s proposals in this regard which were aimed at rationalization, removal of a major anomaly and significant increase in revenue for the exchequer, while also some other important proposals have not been included in the Supplementary Bill. They hoped that these issues and proposals will be reviewed again by the Ministries of Finance and Commerce and adopted with mutual consultation in best national interest.While appreciating the government’s strategy of holding frequent consultations prior to announcement of any measure affecting the trade and industry, they extended full support and cooperation to the government in its future endeavors focused on ensuring long lasting progress and prosperity for the entire country.