IMF conditions hampered Dar in presenting a comprehensive budget: PIAF

IMF conditions hampered Dar in presenting a comprehensive budget: PIAF


PIAF notes inability to widen tax net

LAHORE (Web Desk) – Representative bodies of businessmen have praised the budget presented by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar-led team, albeit with reservations, while also pointing to the limitations faced by the government amid the relentless pressure exerted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In this connection, Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Faheemur Rehman Saigol, in a statement, said the finance minister had not been fully successful to present a business-friendly budget due to the IMF conditions.

Saigol said the government had imposed new taxes of almost Rs200 billion without bringing more sectors into tax net, implying burdening those who were already paying taxes.

He noted that there was no mention of reduction in energy tariff, adding that the federal government would fail to reach the targets set in the budget.

The country’s exports would likely to be less than $30 billion, Saigol said, adding that the target of Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) would not be achieved.

Saigol said the present budget lacks major objective of giving a long-term direction to economy, as no visible reduction in cost of doing business or cut in taxes in budget had been announced to speed up the growth or create new jobs in the country.

He said Pakistan needed millions of jobs annually but the government had not taken any concrete step in federal budget for job creations for the unemployed youth. Although details were still to come out, the budget vibes seem positive, the PIAF chairman said.

On the other hand, All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) Chairman Muhammad Pervez Lala described the budget as balanced budget, saying the objective was achieved despite a heavy burden of foreign and domestic loans and high inflation.

He noted positive steps like increasing business turnover limit of a manufacturers from Rs250 million to Rs800 million, exemption of customs duties on raw materials/ inputs for machine tools, reduction of minimum tax liability of turnover from 1.25 per cent to 1.0pc for companies listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange, and special relief package for salaried persons, pensioners.

But he maintained that a lot had to be done yet and cited the example of not providing any details of reduction in customs duty on import of dyes and chemicals used in the textile processing industry.

He also mentioned withdrawal of Regionally Competitive Energy Tariff (RCET) for gas and electricity to prove his point.