Serious efforts to be made to resolve problems confronted by exporters, SME sector: SAPM


FAISALABAD:Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Tariq Mahmood Pasha has said that serious and dedicated efforts will be made to resolve the problems confronted by the exporters and SME sector in the next federal budget.

In a meeting with President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) Dr. Khurram Tariq, the SAPM said that the government will consult the business community to ensure sustained economic growth. He said, "No doubt Pakistan is facing a critical situation and we have to fulfill the conditionalities of the IMF while finalizing budget proposals." He said that their focus is on providing a conducive business climate and the business community must play its proactive role to drag Pakistan out of the protracted economic crisis.

He was appreciative of the proposals presented by Dr. Khurram Tariq and said that each and every suggestion will be discussed at the highest forum and efforts would be made to include these in the budget document.

Dr. Khurram Tariq said that the government should realize the ground realities while giving final touch to the federal budget as 'we share a common objective to revive the economy in the prevailing scenario'. He particularly mentioned dwindling exports despite the devaluation of PKR and said that urgent and prudent actions are required to give maximum support to the exporters as well as the SME sector.

He also mentioned liquidity crunch as capital of exporters have been stuck up in the refund regime and they are unable to get running finances from the banks at high mark up rate. He demanded that the government should expedite the payment of refund claims in addition to reviving SRO-1125.

About broadening the tax base, he said that multiplicity of taxes has added to the miseries of the existing taxpayers. He said that taxpayers are squeezed while on the other hand the non-filers are enjoying tax free status. He said that broadening of tax base is the only available option to enhance revenue collection. He said that the tax rates for filers must be reduced so that the burden on responsible and compliant taxpayers is reduced significantly. He also proposed measures to increase revenue collection from the under taxed sectors.

Commenting on the real estate, he said that income tax which is currently worked out on the basis of per square feet on builders and property developers should be increased. Similarly, the housing societies developing and selling land should be made liable to pay 2% income tax on the FBR value of such land.

During this meeting Member Inland Revenue and Senior Vice President FCCI Dr. Sajjad Arshad were also present.