Economic experts divided over Budget 2021-22


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Following the announcement of the PTI-led government’s budget for the fiscal year 2021-22, economic experts have shed light on different aspects of the budget.

Speaking during a press conference, the President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mian Tariq Misbah said the government has agreed to several demands of the business and trade community when preparing the budget, however, the tax target should have been kept at the same level as last year.

“The amount allocated in the budget for four dams should also have been increased,” Misbah said, adding that the exceptions granted to the pharmaceutical industry and the Information and Technology sector is a positive move.

Speaking about other initiatives of the government, Misbah said the package announced for farmers is a welcome change. He also lauded the housing scheme for low-income earners, saying that people would benefit from it.

Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala also commented on the budget and said that while the government has announced surplus electricity in the budget, there is no mechanism to supply it to the consumers.

He said the budget has given a direction to industries while special emphasis has been laid on the exports sector as well as the local industry. 

Motiwala added that the prices of flour and sugar could have been reduced by 30%.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) Shariq Vohra said the federal government had also included some of the suggestions from Karachi in the budget.

He commended the PTI-led government for reducing the withholding tax by 40% and said the turnover tax had also been reduced by 0.25%. 

“The government has shown leniency in terms of taxation,” Vohra said. “The Karachi Chamber of Commerce accepts the budget. We will provide more analyses after reading the budget document.”

The Vice-President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCPI) Nasir Khan said the budget will benefit rich people, while most suggestions of the FCCPI had not been included in it.

“However, the reduction in withholding tax has been a welcome change,” Khan said. 

The President of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Sherbaz Ilyas Bilour said the federal budget is good overall, given that it is properly implemented.

He said that tax exemptions provided to erstwhile FATA and the former PATA is a good move, adding the budget is also beneficial for industrial promotion. 

“However, imposing more taxes on the telecommunication industry will burden the masses,” Bilour said. “But not imposing taxes on machinery is a positive initiative.”

He said the government has provided tax exemptions to the cottage industry, which will reap positive effects while lifting taxes on transactions made by the business community will also help them.

Meanwhile, the former president of the SCCI Niaz Ahmed criticised the budget and said that it is nothing but a “political tactic and bears no fruit for the common man”.

“The PTI government has almost neglected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in this budget,” Ahmed concluded. 

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