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KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Wednesday expressed a mixed reaction to the recently announced budget.

During a press conference in Karachi, FPCCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh commented that the reduction of the interest rate by one and a half percent would have a little impact. He pointed out the disparity in electricity costs, noting that factories in neighbouring countries pay 8 cents, while those in Pakistan pay 17 cents per unit.

Sheikh also criticised the increase in tax on real estate, suggesting it would stifle the sector.

FPCCI Vice President Saqib Maggo remarked that the budget targets are overly ambitious given the current state of industries. While he welcomed the increase in the export refinance amount, he warned that bringing exporters into the common tax net could harm exports.

He acknowledged the substantial allocation for the IT sector and appreciated the increases in salaries and pensions. He also endorsed tax digitisation but cautioned that the capital gains tax on real estate could decrease remittances from abroad.

The federal government has presented a budget of over 18 trillion rupees for the next financial year 2024-25.

The budget for 2024-25 proposes higher tax rates for filers and non-filers on property transactions. Filers will face a 15% tax on the purchase and sale of property, while non-filers will be taxed up to 45%.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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