Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder presented a set of joint recommendations to Finance Minister Asad Umar concerning this year’s budget.
LCCI President Almas Hyder presented these proposals while heading a delegation comprising of presidents of various chambers of Commerce and Industry.
These proposals take in account the tariff rationalization, refunds, financing to different industry and industrial expansion, free trade agreements, ease of doing business, and taxation system. These proposals have been drafted and finalized after various brainstorming sessions and have mutually been agreed upon by the board of directors and leadership of LCCI.
The delegation also requested the government to obliterate custom duty on raw materials. This action will prove beneficial to the local industry as it will alleviate the effects of low-tariff free trade agreements.
Finance Minister Asad Umer agreed with the proposals and acknowledged to have them included within the upcoming Federal Budget 2019-20. On request of the LCCI President, Finance Minister requested the Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azher to make arrangements for early payment of refunds which total up to Rs.5 million. Moreover, he accepted the recommendation of automation payment of refunds within 60 days. He stated that the government is determined to facilitate the business community in every way possible for the betterment of the country.
The proposal also included recommendation to regularize the duty rates for trade and industry to expedite small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It was also proposed to review and reduce the custom duties on intermediary products for future convenience.
The LCCI president also brought to notice that the non-payment of refunds is shrinking the liquidity from the market. He requested to clear all the pending payments to this effect.
Furthermore, the LCCI members sought indemnity from audit for taxpayers who have submitted 20 percent or more tax over the last fiscal year. They held that tax exemption certificates should be issued to commercial importers and manufacturers automatically if their withheld tax is equivalent to previous year’s tax.