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ISLAMABAD: Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) while terming the federal budget (2022-23) as “tough budget”, demanded more allocations for highways expansions, dual carriages and scholarships for the poor students for the next fiscal year.

In a statement issued here on Monday, President of Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Fida Hussain Dashti and Senior Vice-President Mohammad Ayub Mariani have welcomed the government decision for speedy payment of Rs 40.5 billion pending sales tax refunds and abolition of sales tax on agriculture machinery, import duties on seeds and sales tax exemption on solar panels in the budget.

They stated that we consider the budget as tough budget and hoped that the present government would take positive steps to alleviate the financial difficulties facing the country and the province.

The allocation of Rs 200 billion for the communication is not enough for Balochistan for improving the highways and expansion of the roads infrastructure of the province.

The QCCI president stated that the allocation for turning the national highways into dual carriage and number of scholarships for the students of Balochistan was unclear in the budget. The national highways in Balochistan were in bad condition. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had recently promised to convert the Quetta-Karachi national highway into dual carriage, but the communication sector’s allocation of Rs 202 billion did not reflect it.

Due to narrow and dilapidated highways in Balochistan, tragic accidents are taking place every day resulting in the loss of human lives without inviting any attention from the quarters concerned.

They said that 22 people were killed in the passenger van accident in Killa Saifullah due to bad condition of roads and the prime minister should take notice of it.

The QCCI president pointed out that we are not against more taxes on luxury vehicles, but not giving relief on the construction items is not justified.

Moreover, 5000 scholarships for the students welcomed, but the number of scholarships must be increased during the next fiscal year.

Senior Vice-President Ayub Mariani said on the occasion the business community considers the budget very tough but hopes that the present government would take positive steps to alleviate financial difficulties of federal government and the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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