The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry termed the first annual budget presented by PTI Government as quite taxing and burdensome for business class and the common man as it has further enhanced many taxes and abolished tax exemptions.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal President, Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Budget 2019-20 has abolished zero-rating facility for five export-oriented industries that would enhance their production cost and make our exports more uncompetitive in international market.
They said that Pakistan badly needed to improve exports for revival of its economy, but doing away with zero-rating for export-oriented sector would thwart all efforts to enhance exports.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that sugar, ghee and cooking oil were the items of daily use for common man, but government has enhanced ST on sugar from 8 percent to 17 percent and imposed 17 percent FED on ghee/cooking oil that would directly impact the common man.
He said that government has also enhanced taxes on some other items including sugary drinks, juices and home appliances that would add to the problems of general public.
He said taxes on cement, steel and marble industries have also been increased that would hurt the construction industry and the poor people. He said the scope of sales tax on services has been expanded while income tax threshold has been reduced from 1.2 million to 0.6 million for salaried class and 0.4 million for non-salaried class that would put additional burden on these people.
He said government has made manifold increase in advance tax on dealers, commission agents and arhatis for issuance or renewal of license, which was unjustified and stressed that government should reconsider this increase.
The ICCI President said that government has also taken some positive measures in the Budget 2019-20 that were laudable. He said exemptions of CD on raw material/industrial inputs have been given to pharma, health, paper, packaging, textile and other industries that would facilitate the growth of industrial activities.
He said exemption of CD on more than 1650 raw materials/industrial inputs have been given that would boost industrial growth. He said some tax exemptions for cottage industry have been announced that would promote this important industry.
He said streamlining sales tax registration process, setting up Refund Settlement Company to resolve refunds issues, introducing business registration scheme, separating audit and assessment functions and removing ban on filers for purchase of property were the measures that would prove beneficial for the economy.