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KARACHI: The Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) have presented a comprehensive 72-page budget proposals to the federal government, earning commendations from government officials.

Both the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the Ministry of Planning have indicated that they will take KATI’s suggestions into serious consideration.

President of KATI, Johar Qandhari, expressed optimism about the government’s positive reception and the potential implementation of their proposals. He emphasized that the budget proposals were meticulously prepared through extensive consultations with stakeholders, focusing on promoting industrialization and addressing economic challenges. The proposals highlight several key areas for reform.

KATI strongly advocates for swift tax reforms and the expansion of the tax net. They recommend capping the income tax rate at a maximum of 15% and extending taxation to the agricultural sector under the normal tax regime. To combat inflation, KATI suggests reducing the interest rate to single digits.

Additionally, the proposals call for a reduction of corporate tax to 20% and the implementation of a withholding tax regime. To boost the real estate sector, KATI proposes reducing the capital gains tax period from three years to one year. They also recommend abolishing or refraining from auditing the minimum tax regime to improve direct cash flow.

Qandhari further outlined the need for a more efficient sales tax and value-added tax collection system, starting with an initial imposition of a 5% sales tax. He expressed hope that the federal government would incorporate these stakeholder consultations into the budget preparation process, reduce the tax rate, and bring tax defaulters into the tax net.

The proposals also stress the importance of increasing production capacity and reducing the prices of electricity, gas, and energy. These measures, Qandhari argued, would spur industrialization and drive Pakistan toward economic development.

Qandhari reiterated KATI’s commitment to collaborating with the government to ensure that the budget reflects the needs of the industry and the broader economy, paving the way for sustainable economic growth.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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