(June 20, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Thursday said imposing federal excise duty (FED) on the industrial units located in erstwhile FATA and PATA is against the national interests. The government has decided to impose FED on steel, ghee, and some other industries in tribal areas which will lead to their closure, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the move will have very serious consequences for FATA, PATA and rest of the country therefore it should be taken back without any delay.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government has reversed the SRO 1212(1)/208 which has threatened investments in FATA and PATA; it will deter further investments and stoke unemployment which may fan agitation and extremism.
The former minister noted that the area has already suffered a lot due to terrorism and such a move which is against the promise of the government may forestall the peace efforts that were at a heavy price of thousands of lives and billions of dollars of resources. Now the enemy national have started another movement in the restive areas which is becoming a threat to the country which should not be countered by military means only but economic tools must be employed to get desired results.
Those areas who were exempted from federal taxes should remain exempted according to a decision in which exemption was extended until 30th June, 2023. He noted that at one hand the government has proposed to allocate Rs 152 billion for the development of Erstwhile FATA while on the other hand, it is hampering economic growth in these areas which is beyond understanding.