ICCI sees no visible measures for industrial revival in the Budget 2012-2013

Islamabad :   Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said Friday there is no incentive and relief for the country’s ailing trade and industry. Pakistan is facing severe energy crises but no concrete measures were announced to overcome the crisis.

Giving his reaction after the budget speech of Federal Budget 2012-13, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), said that no pragmatic steps have been announced by the government to create job opportunities and provide relief to the masses who were stricken by the sky-rocketing price hike.

He said that very diminutive money has been set aside in the budget for fast crumbling infrastructure. He maintained that the budget was not reflected by any long-term planning and strategy to address key issues confronted by the country.

ICCI President said that the revenue target of Rs.2.38 trillion was unrealistic that will open new opportunities of corruption and 4.7 percent fiscal deficit target was simply not achievable. He said that sale tax has been made uniform to 16 percent, however it should have been further reduced to bring down the rate of inflation. He criticized that in the history of Pakistan very short budget was presented in the Assembly hiding lot of details.

He said that despite knowing about the ailing energy sector, the government has allocated only Rs.183 billion to cope with energy crisis that is only 6 percent of the total budget outlay, adding that budgetary framework was unrealistic in terms of targets and resource mobilization.

Yassar Sakhi Butt said that around Rs.1 trillion would be paid in debt servicing, therefore every sector should be brought under the tax net at any cost, otherwise the government would face heavy fiscal deficit, which would compel it to more borrowing from local and foreign financial institutions.

ICCI President, however, appreciated the reduction in turnover tax, introduction of taxpayer honour card, removal of federal excise duty on 10 items and elimination of duty on educational printing material, reduction of custom duty on 28 raw materials of pharmaceuticals and reduction of federal excise duty on cement.   He also lauded the Government for reducing the tax slaps from 17 to 5.

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