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Govt accepts major chunk of UBG proposals in coming Budget 2020-21

The step is mainly aimed at accelerating the pace of economic activities in wake of pandemic of coronavirus.

May 31, 2020

ISLAMABAD: United Business Group (UBG) Central Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik said on Sunday that Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh assured that all the viable growth oriented budget proposals of business community have been incorporated in the upcoming federal budget 2020-21.

The step is mainly aimed at accelerating the pace of economic activities in wake of pandemic of coronavirus.

He expressed these views while chairing UBG core committee meeting through video link here today which was participated by its patron in chief SM Munir, Zubair Tufail,Khalid Tawab,Feroze Gulzar,Mian Adress,Dr Nauman Butt,Sh Riaz Ahmad, Daroo Khan Achakzai,Sohail Hussain Malik, Mian Fareed,Sbdul Rauf Alam, Hameed Akhtar Chadda and Ilyas Bilour," says a press release issued here.

Iftikhar Malik said Pakistan's economy is passing through a challenging phase due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The most impacted section of our society is the manufacturers, traders, retailers, importers and exporters and business community are in a distress and facing huge financial losses due to current emergency situation".

He said good thing is that the federal government assured him that these proposals would be part of the upcoming federal budget 2020-21.

He said UBG after thorough deliberations submitted proposals to the federal government amid Covid-19 economic scenario suggesting deferment of interest payments of the businesses for six months, grant of exemption from the payment of Sales Tax on imported plant, machinery, equipment and components, reducing electricity tariff for all the sectors to 7.5 cents/kwh.

He said they also recommended deferment of the electricity and gas bills of all businesses for a period of six months.

It also suggested to the government that source of income should not be asked on any kind of investment in any sector of the economy for the next two years.

Iftikhar Malik further said a huge amount of income tax and sales tax refunds was pending with Federal Bureau of Revenue due to which business community was facing liquidity issues and suggested that FBR should speed up the process of their payment or allow their adjustment against payable taxes.

Appreciating Prime Minister Imran Khan for his dynamic leadership and clear vision at the time of coronavirus outbreak, he suggested the government to take strong measures to mitigate the sufferings of our people and give them a hope, provide them cash, food and recreate employment opportunities for them.

Iftikhar Malik also urged government to follow the same spirit of austerity measures as it shown in previous budget so that the expenditures were made in a way that the public money was not wasted.

“He said that it was a big economic principle that through government expenditures money goes in the hands of people who generate economic activities and create jobs, which helped in tackling recession," he pointed out.

He said government had to focus on enhancing business relations with other countries as no country in the current era could progress on its own.

He also underlined the need for enhancing exports, reducing imports and also giving incentives to the expatriate Pakistanis to invest in their homeland and open their business here.

Stressing the need for striking a balance between health and economic activities, he said the government had to protect people from COVID-19's effects and at the same time it had to save the country's economy.