President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain lauded the annual budget terming it visionary and reflective of the vision of PTI. The tax target of Rs5555 billion is a challenge but keeping in view the actual potential it is not impossible as the government claims that masses have full faith in the person of Imran Khan and they would cooperate, he said.
Talking to the business community, Mian Zahid Hussain said that independent experts suggest that actual tax potential is Rs8500 billion while the World Bank has estimated it to be Rs10000 billion while the total tax collected during the current year is Rs4000 billion against the target of 4400 billion rupees.
The veteran business leader said that hundreds of thousands of traders earning Rs400000 have been brought into the tax net which will be wastage of time and resources of the FBR, therefore, tax limit should be increased to Rs1.2 million so that authorities could focus on big tax evaders.
The former minister noted that budget deficit which was Rs1600 billion has now jumped to Rs3350 billion while the developmental budget has been increased from Rs 900 billion to 1863 billion which would be a challenge.
Mian Zahid Hussain noted that withdrawal of zero-rating can hit exports by two billion dollars as Rs400 billion refunds of the textile sector are already stuck. The GDP has slipped from the target of 6.2 percent to 2.9 percent and now the government has targeted four percent growth rate while IMF and Moody’s have projected a growth of 2.5 percent. He suggested the establishment of an autonomous body which can reduce the cost of doing business for exports and bringing the cost on inputs at par with the regional countries. Companies should be formed comprising experts and 25 top exporters for different exports sectors which will look after processing, branding, marketing certification, and standardization.
He noted that chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi is taking interest in resolving issues of the business community and improving the investment climate. He has chosen a difficult task for himself which must be lauded.