SCCI rejects proposed additional tax measures through ‘mini-budget’

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Muhammad Ishaq ‘out-rightly’ rejected the proposed ‘mini-budget’ through a Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023, terming the additional taxation measures worth Rs170 billions, will unleash a new inflation wave in the country.

Ishaq, during an informal talks/interviews with media persons here on Thursday after analyzing some salient features of the proposed ‘mini-budget’ said a storm of inflation will come after imposing billions of rupees new taxes, through which not only the business community but every citizen of the country would be adversely affected.

He added the cost of industrial production would be escalated as a result of imposing ‘heavy taxes’.

The SCCI chief criticized the rulers for bringing the national economy on the brink of complete destruction.

He viewed it has been made quite difficult but impossible to run industries and businesses after a whopping increase in prices of electricity, gas and petroleum commodities.

Businessmen are in great trouble owing to anti-business policies of the incumbent government, Mr Ishaq said.

He added unavailability of raw materials to industries in wake of non-opening letter of credits (LCs) by commercial banks has further aggravating the situation.

He castigated that unilateral policies of the government have added to difficulties of the business community on a daily basis, which is highly ‘condemnable’ and ‘unbearable’.

Ishaq came down hard on those who made towering claims that they would put the economy in the right direction and bring down dollar rates, saying that instead of taking corrective measures, the country has brought on edge of economic bankruptcy.

On the other hand, the SCCI chief said the government has swelled its cabinet, rising up to over 80 members, terming it as a negation of the proposals aimed at to reduce the public expenditures which were crafted by the National Austerity Committee.
“Is the brigade of ministers and special advisors not injustice to a country and its people which is sinking into foreign debts”?

Ishaq said if the government was serious about reviving the economy it should make drastic reduction in the ‘non-development’ budget.

He asked to announce special incentives and facilities for boost up to promote industrial, trade and commercial activities.

The chamber president also came down hard on politicians for not ‘prioritizing’ the economy, business, trade and exports.

He noticed Pakistan has been made economically bankrupt during the last 10 months.

The SCCI chief expressed apprehensions that business, industries and trade would be completely halted if the government couldn’t stop enforcing ‘anti-business’ policies as a result of that the unemployment will be further increased in the country.

Ishaq asked for utilizing the eminent potentials and natural resources to get rid of the country from clutches of IMF and make Pakistan as economically a self-reliant country.

The chamber president advised the government to take chambers and relevant stakeholders on board before formulation of policies so that they would have long-lasting impacts toward revival of the crippling national economy.

He warned against taking aggressive steps if the government didn’t shun anti-business policies forthwith, saying that any responsibility will be rested upon the present government for commotion and unrest in the country.