Federal budget invites mixed reaction from business community

Federal budget invites mixed reaction from business community


Positive aspects, significant challenges

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LAHORE (Web Desk) - Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has voiced concerns over taxation measures in the federal budget.

LCCI President Kashif Anwar gave mixed reaction, noting that while there are positive aspects, but there are significant challenges as well.

He remarked that apparently this is a difficult budget, which will be little beneficial for the economy. He emphasised the need for consultation with the stakeholders, stating that this budget will not provide the necessary support for the manufacturing and exports or the economy.

He pointed out that imposing federal excise duty on cement and property and removing import duty on glass and imposing FED on immovable property will hinder business operations.

He stressed the importance of eliminating non-documented sectors alongside increasing documentation and questioned how construction would increase when capital gain tax has been imposed on real estate and property.

He highlighted that raising the advance tax to 2.25 percent will increase cost for manufacturers and retailers. He warned that increasing tax rates in this manner invites tax evasion. He showed concerns on the budget and argued that excessive tax rates will negate potential benefits.

He said that in these challenging times, increasing the sales tax rate from 12 percent to 18pc percent for tier 1 retailers will hinder documentation efforts.

He urged for a simplified tax system, stating that no trader is afraid of paying taxes but is wary of excessive regulatory powers.

Kashif Anwar acknowledged positive steps for the solar sector but cautioned against implementing certain measures. He mentioned that many documents and SROs are yet to come and expressed concern that the current budget will exacerbate inflation and create hurdles for industrialisation and economic activity.