Hafeez Shaikh invites FPCCI members to discuss budgetary concerns

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  • ‘Finance adviser intends to address genuine grievances of the business community in order to accelerate economic activities in the country’

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has invited the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) members to work out a viable strategy so that anomalies in the budget could be removed.

This was disclosed by Pak-US Business Council President and United Business Group (UBG) Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He said the finance adviser intends to address the genuine grievances of the business community so as to help accelerate the economic activities in the country.

“Our members have this opportunity to discuss the matters of mutual interests, particularly with regard to trade and industrial facilitation.”

He said FPCCI President Engineer Daroo Khan, UBG Patron-in-chief SM Muneer, former FPCCI president Zubair Tufail, SVP Mirza Ikhtiar Baig and other prominent business leaders would deliberate on the economic agenda as well as the road map of government priorities.

The UBG chairman said liaison between the government and business community would help steer the country out of the multi-faceted challenges being faced by the country, including balance of payment, fiscal and debt sustainability, better management of public sector entities, reforms of transparency, elimination of the menace of corruption and ease of doing business.

He said that the FPCCI team would try to convince Abdul Hafeez Sheikh to remove certain anomalies in budget 2019-20.

Malik remarked that the business community was the backbone of the national economy and it was the moral obligation on the government to facilitate the traders in order to encourage ease of doing business in the country.

“The business community has serious concerns on the abolishment of the zero-rated regime for five export-oriented sectors – textiles, leather, carpets, sports goods and surgical goods – and the imposition of 17pc sales tax on items covered under SRO 1125(I)/2011.

He said they (business leaders) would suggest the government to restore the zero-rated scheme to eliminate corruption, and to improve the cash flow of the exporters of these sectors.

The UBG chairman said the business community reposed its confidence in the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that his economic team has full potential and a firm commitment to driving the country out of the prevalent economic crisis.

He said the PM’s resolve to ensure strict accountability across the board was highly appreciated by the business community in particular and the masses in general.

“The government has initiated meaningful reforms across all the important fields with an aim to make Pakistan a prosperous and respected country,” he concluded.

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