PBIF demands stimulus for all sectors. Revenue collection may fall by Rs2000 billion. Power and gas bill payment in 12 installments demanded.

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(April 20, 2020)

FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel SVP, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said downward spiral has affected all the sectors therefore all of them including small and medium businesses deserve a stimulus.

Revenue collection may not surpass Rs3500 billion against the initial target of Rs5500 billion as pre-pandemic estimates suggested a fall of Rs700 billion which will jump substantially after the emergency, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that now the revenue target has been revised to Rs3908 billion which is unachievable at best which has raised fears regarding another mini-budget or harsh measures.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the government has pinned high hopes on labour intensive construction industry and the package has been designed with the consultation of the private sector having better exposure to the ground realities.

The former minister noted that the interests of poor and middle-income group has been catered for in the package to some extent and builders, as well as buyers, have been given amnesty but sellers have been ignored.

Property purchasers would like proper documentation to whiten their money while sellers lacking amnesty would like to show reduced prices which will result in dispute, he said.

The only way to avoid confrontation and ensure the success of the package is to remove weaknesses in the package with consultation of the real state sector.

He said that small and medium business should be given a package, their utility bills should be deferred for three months or received in twelve installments or the SBP should provide interest-free loans for the purpose.

He said that the government should seek the guidance of the business community so that success should be ensured as a delay is not in the national interest.

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