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ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has accused Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of facilitating only elite not SMEs and other businesses sectors. In a letter to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, President FPCCI Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has registered his protest for not taking the Association on board in anomalies committee.

The letter states that FBR constituted business anomaly committee with Sultan Alana Chairman of Board of HBL as Chairman of the committee - a man who was not relevant for addressing business anomalies as he does not deal with business affecting statutes and has no understanding of complications in present taxation policies to provide any help to the committee. This was also conveyed to chairman FBR.

Historically the chair of the business anomaly committee is always President of FPCCI or his nominee as the FPCCI represents all the trade bodies and is therefore in a position to negotiate not only pre-budget positions but resolve the post budget created anomalies.

The recommendations on anomalies were made in business community's absence and without participation of FPCCI and main provincial headquarter chambers. However, FPCCI was briefed only on the decided changes. In the meeting on June 25, 2021, the Chairman of the business committee Sultan Alana admitted that he has nothing to do with budgetary changes which have been exclusively made by FBR and resolutions of anomalies have been decided by FBR and not by him.

"There has been no consultation with FPCCI, private sector representing body in budget making and in addressing the anomalies....it appears that FBR is only facilitating the elite," Maggo maintained.

FPCCI President further stated that the political governments in Pakistan in past have behaved differently and FPCCI remained the focal point and acted as a bridge between public and private sector to help the government consolidate its economic position and align policies in consultation with the practical experiences of private sector stakeholders so that the tranquillity and the popularity of the government is not only assured through higher economic growth but the same acts may lead to another term on the basis of economic performance helped by stakeholder businessman.

FPCCI further stated that Prime Minister Office needs to be connected to largest private sector representative platform to help achieve targeted economic growth, prime objective of any political government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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