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KARACHI: Patron-in Chief of United Business Group (UBG) S M Muneer and UBG President Zuberi Tufail have termed the budget 2021-22 as a balanced presented by PTI government in present circumstances.

Giving their feedback on the budget, Muneer congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen Advisor for Trade Abdul Razzaq Dawood on presented a balanced budget in present conditions and Covid-19. GDP 4.8 percent will improve the economy.

He said the exports were expected that the government will announce payment of long pending ST refunds in the budget. However, it has not been done. The exporters are facing financial crunch and difficulties in exports due to stuck-up refunds. The country needs dollars and all efforts should be made to facilitate exports, he added.

He said that the government should reduce the prices of electricity and gas while the inflation is still very high, which is needed to reduce. No new taxes have been imposed in the budget while the reduction in sales tax will bring relief to the people.

He welcomed the decision that FBR will not issue notices and third party audit scheme.

S M Muneer said that withholding tax on 40 percent items has been reduced which is a good move, good decisions have been taken in the budget for the betterment of industrial sector and economy.

He said self-assessment scheme is a good decision and expressed hoped that the number of payers will go up.

Referring to the budget, Zubair Tufail, President, United Business Group, said that no better budget could have been presented in the crisis created by Covid- 19, the budget is balanced.

The burden of taxes was not imposed on the common man, but no measures were taken to alleviate the plight of the poor, he expressed.

He said that no measures were adopted to reduce the ever-increasing prices of cooking oil, ghee, meat, milk, sugar and flour. It was necessary to reduce the sales tax on food items. The price of edible oil per kg was Rs 200 per kg a year and a half ago but now it is Rs 350 per kg which is far from the reach of the poor segment of the society. The sales tax on oil is very high. The government should reduce the sales tax on food and beverages, especially coking oil and sugar from 17 percent to 7 percent.

It is welcome in the new budget that the government's initiatives will make it easier for the low-income group to get loans and even the lowest-income people will now be able to get their own home, which is a dream of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Zubair Tufail said that the minimum wages of a worker has been increased from Rs 17,000 to Rs 20,000 but even Rs 20,000 is not enough for the workers.

It is a good move to increase the tax net from Rs 1 million to Rs 10 million in the budget. It will be in the interest of the people. At present, the production of big industries is increasing, such as cement, ceramics and other products.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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