LAHORE: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry President designate Iftikhar Ali Malik has said that cut in import duty on the required raw materials must continue unabated as it would ensure an economic stimulus.
Iftikhar Malik also urged for the payment of sales tax and income tax pending refund of the value-added sector demanded and rebate, waiver of mark-up in export refinancing and relaxation in loan repayments.
Talking to reporters here, he also urged the need of deferment of payment of utility bills and waiver of surcharges for at least next three years, restoration of zero-rated sales tax regime and exemption from welfare fund contributions.
He said the global oil price reduction comes as a mercy at a time when the entire machinery has shifted gear on exploiting the optimum export potential.
Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zahid Iqbal said that lowering of interest rate at 5 percent together with cheaper oil import shall raise future expectations of investors and serve as vantage point for Pakistan in steadily conquering the budding trade gap in GSP Plus backed markets of Europe.
“Moreover, it would also make business climate more lucrative for foreign investment in the ongoing pandemic,” he added. He said that presently effective power houses like USA, UK, China, South Korea and Japan who controlled 65 percent of the manufacturing industry of the world were being in trouble whereas Pakistan still can meet the challenge and can grow its economy.
Zahid Iqbal also urged the State Bank of Pakistan to draft a separate policy for micro and small enterprises to enable them to keep their workforce, survive in current critical conditions and sustain in the long term.
Micro, small and medium-sized businesses accounted for roughly 70 percent of Pakistan’s economy and provided employment to more than 10 million people, he highlighted.
He feared that the economic impact of COVID-19 would lead to the closure of many businesses as they were suffering from lockdowns and generating no income.
Another business leader Mian Faiz Bukhsh while hailing the decision of SBP said that FBR must also honour to its commitment of immediate payment of all pending lawful income tax refunds to save the business community from bankruptcy.