FEBR welcomes Budget 2022-23 as traders’ several inputs incorporated
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The Friends of Economic and Business Reforms (FEBR) on Sunday welcomed the federal budget 2022-23, terming it a positive budget for trade and industry as several inputs of the business community has been incorporated into the budget.
FEBR President Kashif Anwar said that by introducing a fixed tax of 3000 to 10,000 for small retailers, the government has fulfilled a long-standing demand of the business community and this will not only expand the tax base but also increase tax revenue. He said that a fixed tax was also levied on the marble industry in their electricity bills which were withdrawn by the previous government and demanded the re-introduction of a fixed tax system for the marble industry. He said that the government has also made a good decision by allowing the adjustment of taxes at the import stage. He said that tax relief measures have also been announced in the budget for the pharma industry which is appreciable.
Kashif Anwar said that in the budget, the Prime Minister has shown his resolve to operationalize some special economic zones as soon as possible, which is welcome as it would boost industrialization and exports of the country. He said that the government has taken some good steps in the current budget which are commendable.
He said that tax relief on the import of agricultural machinery and equipment has been given which is commendable as it will help our agriculture to develop better, and improve agricultural production and instead of importing agricultural products, Pakistan will become self-sufficient in them. He said that introduction of the ADRC system was a welcome step for better resolution of tax disputes which would provide good relief to the taxpayers.
FEBR President said that the tax threshold for proprietors and AOPs has been increased from 4 lakhs to six lakhs which is a good move. Similarly, the tax threshold for the salaried class has also been increased from six lakhs to 12 lakhs and their salary has also been increased by 15 per cent which will provide them good relief in these tough times. He said that after a detailed review of the taxes proposed for real estate and other sectors, a reaction on them would be given later on.
The government has presented a good budget in difficult economic conditions, he said. He said that small retailers will be taxed a fixed amount and will be collected with utility bills, adding that withholding tax for import of raw material to be made adjustable, sales tax holiday for local and imported solar panels, sales tax reversed for tractors, agriculture equipment, wheat, canola and other grains are good measures. He said that soyabean seed and grandparent poultry should also be given tax exemptions.
However, he said that as the usual federal budget is in deficit and it has not mentioned how this would be handled. He feared that government would opt for borrowing which would aggravate the economic conditions. He said that around Rs. 4000 billion have been allocated for debt serving which shows how much the economy is paying to the debts.
He said that one of the best ways to reduce the budget deficit is to promote economic growth. He said that high economic growth is the finest way to reduce the budget deficit because it would also enhance the government revenues.