Lahore: Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Wednesday said that the proposals submitted by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) would be made part of the upcoming budget.
He expressed his views on the matter during a meeting with the heads of all fourteen chambers in Islamabad. LCCI President Almas Haider led the delegation.
The proposals include measures with respect to tariff rationalisation, refunds, financing to industry and industrial expansion, free trade agreements, ease of doing business, and taxation system.
The delegation asked the government to abolish custom duty on raw materials. Such a move would help the local industry mitigate the effects of low-tariff free trade agreements.
It also requested to regularise the rate of duties for trade and industry in order to facilitate small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It was suggested that custom duties on intermediary products be reduced.
The LCCI president informed that non-payment of refunds is drying out liquidity from the market. He requested to clear all the pending payments to this effect.
Moreover, the members sought exemption from audit for taxpayers who have submitted 20 percent or more tax over the last year. They said that tax exemption certificates to commercial importers and manufacturers should be issued automatically if their withheld tax is equal to last year tax.
In response, Finance Minister Asad Umar asked Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azher to ensure early payment of refunds of upto PR 5 million.
He also sided with the suggestion of automatic payment of refunds within 60 days. He said that the government is committed to facilitating the business community.