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ISLAMABAD: International Chambers Summit 2022, Wednesday, proposed amendments to the Finance Supplementary Bill, 2021 to withdraw 17 percent sales tax on food items, pharmaceutical raw materials, infant milk, reduction in sales tax on point of sale (POS), and withdrawal of the condition of identity card on purchasers.

The “International Chambers Summit 2022” being organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) at a local hotel in Islamabad ended on a high note.

A joint declaration was also prepared on the occasion of the 14th All Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference, which will be communicated to the concerned ministries.

The two-day chambers summit was attended by more than 60 chamber presidents from across Pakistan, including nine women’s chambers and nine small chamber presidents.

A women’s convention was also held on the sidelines of the conference. The women presidents highlighted the issues facing businesswomen and made recommendations.

At the conclusion of the International Chambers Summit, the RCCI President, Nadeem Rauf, while giving briefing said that the business community has reservations about the mini-budget. The prime minister of Pakistan also attended the Presidents Conference.

He was also informed of the concerns, and suggestions were made. We are grateful to Razzak Dawood, advisor to the PM on Commerce and Investment, who listened to the trader’s issues in detail and took suggestions.

Group Leader Sohail Altaf, Senior Vice President Asim Malik, Vice President Talat Awan, newly-elected President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce (FPCCI) Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, former president. Anjum Nisar along with the chambers presidents from all over Pakistan were also present during the briefing.

President Nadeem Rauf said that growth is not possible without industrialisation, industrial zones should be created in the country, export processing zones should be given incentives.

He said that the business community is on one page, the business community is running the national economy. We demand that 17 percent sales tax on medicines be withdrawn, 17 percent sales tax on infant milk be withdrawn, and the condition of identity card on purchasers be abolished. The common man is being affected by the burden of taxes.

Group leader Sohail Altaf said that inflation would come through the mini-budget, taxes on food items, and medicines should not be levied. He also informed that the Chamber has launched a campaign titled, anti-bribery and the prime minister also endorsed this initiative and we requested him to patronize it.

He said that during the Chambers Presidents Conference, all the presidents have endorsed it and announced their full support. He said that small shopkeepers are being harassed at the POS, the tax rate for POS should be reduced.

Addressing 46 presidents of various Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO),Dr Asif Mehmood Jah, briefed the participants about the working of the office of FTO with a message that they can utilise the services of his office free of charge where their grievances have been resolved immediately and also briefed about the recent initiatives undertaken by the FTO during the past three months. He also desired all the presidents of the Chambers to send their nominations on similar basis, which will be proposed accordingly.

After his address, president Gujranwala Chamber, president Sialkot Chamber, and other presidents appreciated the performance of the FTO.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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