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LAHORE: President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Kashif Anwar, has commended the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for surpassing revenue target for the fourth consecutive month, achieving a collection of Rs 2.75 trillion from July to October.

President LCCI lauded the FBR for exceeding its tax collection target for July to October and said the FBR has collected Rs 68 billion more in taxes between July and October than it had planned.

Kashif Anwar also welcomed the decision not to increase interest rates, but he emphasized the need for reduced interest rates, suggesting that ideally, the interest rate should be in single digit to facilitate industrial growth as the lower interest rates typically have a multifaceted impact on economy like cost of borrowing, investment incentives, consumer spending, exchange rates, lower interest rates and reducing debt servicing burden.

Furthermore, president LCCI expressed his appreciation for the reduction in edible oil prices by 60 rupees per liter and noted that the strengthening of the rupee had started to positively impact other commodities as well.

He emphasized the importance of parity between inter-bank rates and open market rates, highlighting the potential benefits of such parity, including the elimination of illegal methods of money transfer, such as “hawala” and “hundi”.

Kashif Anwar voiced strong support from the business community for government policies. However, he called for a significant reduction in petroleum prices, and said that reducing prices could relieve financial burdens, reduce transportation costs, and the cost of doing business which will ultimately foster economic growth.

He said that the government’s response will be closely monitored, as it holds the key to maintaining business community support while balancing fiscal sustainability.

He further said that these developments in tax collection, interest rates, and the prices of essential commodities signal significant progress in Pakistan's economic landscape. As the FBR continues its efforts to bring non-filers into the tax net, it aims to boost revenue further. President LCCI’s call for reduced interest rates and the emphasis on parity between different exchange rates are additional steps in enhancing economic stability and growth in the region.

President LCCI said that it is the collective responsibility of all the citizens to increase the tax base and file the tax returns, he said and added that those who have not filed their tax return must submit even if it is late.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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