(19 September 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said contrary to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Finance Minister Asad Umar vision of empowering industry of the country. Supplementary budget has disappointed investors, industrialists and traders. Increase in gas tariff for industrial sector will increase the cost of doing business and will cause increase in smuggling. No measure has taken for increased tax base left the tax payers in doubts and non filers have encouraged which is contrary to the Prime Minister’s vision.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that Relief of Rs. 50 Bn amid to non increase in gas tariff and exemption of duty on raw material for export industry is appreciative; 82 items of export industry have been given exemption from regulatory duty, however, other measures with coordination of exporters are unavoidable. Revenue target has increased by 10 percent to Rs. 4,435 billion. Administrative measures will increase revenue to Rs. 183 billion which is inclusive of Rs. 92 billion to be earned by using latest technology.
The former minister said that Karachi Infrastructure Development Company will earn Rs. 50 billion through private public partnership to be spent on Karachi and National Highway Authority will spend Rs. 100 billion on infrastructure. Tax rate is increased to 25 percent on 70 thousand highly paid salaried persons while the rest high earning people will pay tax at the rate of 29 percent. Tax exemption on perks of provincial governors and federal ministers has been withdrawn.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that tax on banking transactions other than cash for non filer has increased to 0.6 percent from 0.4 percent which will discourage the use of banking channels and cash transactions will be promoted. Non filers have been allowed to purchase vehicles and property which has vanished the possibilities of tax net; investment property sector will be increased instead of industrial sector.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Public Sector Development Program fund has decreased by Rs. 160 billion. Reduction in development budget will freeze the economic and financial growth and country’s development will be adversely affected. For the growth of the Country, all stake holders should be taken into confidence before taking any measures. Increased tax on expensive mobile phones, luxury cars and imported cigarettes will leave no impact on common man but smuggling of these products my rise, which needs to be curbed.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the problems of increased trade deficit and decreased foreign reserves will not get resolved through the measures announced in supplementary budget. It is required to reform the public sector organizations causing annual loss of Rs. 600 billion; in addition to incentives for the export industry, sector specific companies should be formed and measures to overcome the Rs. 700 billion losses caused by gas and electricity theft and other line losses should be taken. If these measures are taken, no further tax will be needed to impose nor will the Country need any financial support.