- He said that 17 percent GST was a major factor for high cost of doing business and hike in inflation for the common man.
ISLAMABAD: Business community here on Wednesday urged the government for finalizing upcoming federal budget in consultation with major chambers of commerce and other trade bodies as they were the key stakeholders of the process.
President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan in a statement said that Pakistan was in dire need of boosting trade and industrial activities in order to achieve early revival of economy and urged the government to bring down policy interest rate to least 3 percent in the next budget that would pave way for availability of low cost credit to the private sector and accelerate the pace of industrialization and investment in the country.
He said that 17 percent GST was a major factor for high cost of doing business and hike in inflation for the common man, therefore, he urged that the government to bring down GST to single digit level in the upcoming budget in order to reduce the production cost and decrease inflation in the country. It would also make our exports more competitive in the international market, he added.
Yasir Ilyas Khan said that Pakistan was mostly relying on raw materials and agro based commodities for exports while there was a great need to focus on production of value added products for achieving a great boost in exports.
For this purpose, the urged the government for allowing duty free import of industrial machinery, equipment and technology so that local industrial sector could upgrade itself to produce value added and hi-tech products for exports.
He also proposed to consider providing incentive package to all major industries on the pattern of construction that would bring a new industrial revolution in the country and urged the government to also reduce taxes and duties on vehicles to promote investment in the automobile sector along with cutting duties on luxury goods.
ICCI President said that Pakistan has tremendous potential to improve its economy by promoting the tourism sector and suggested to allow duty free import for all paraphernalia for the development of tourism related projects including tiles, lights, electrical, mechanical & IT equipment in addition to machinery used in 3-5 star hotels and all tourism projects in next budget.
He said that duty free import of passenger lifts, escalators, chillers, furniture and fittings, GRMS systems, BMUS, chair lifts for resorts would go a long way in promoting the tourism sector. He said that besides the cost of land, the development of a 4 to 5 star hotel was capital intensive primarily due to the extensive duties in place and much longer payback period.
Therefore, he proposed for announcing at least a 5-10 year tax holiday alongwith various other incentives for investment in the tourism industry. Since the return on investment in the hotel industry comes after 7 to 10 years, therefore,a tax holiday of minimum 5-10 years was important to make this sector more lucrative for investors and a game changer for the economy.