No industry promotion and jobs creation plan in Budget: PIAF

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Lahore:    The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF), raising its serious concerns over the federal budget 2020-21, termed it a conventional budget, as the government has not announced any initiative to promote business activities to retain jobs in the industry amidst worldwide corona pandemic.
PIAF Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir, in a joint statement with Senior Vice Chairman Nasir Hameed and Vice Chairman Javed Siddiqi, showing their disappointment over the budget presented by the Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar at the National Assembly, observed that the no plan was given in the budget that could promote business activities and help create more employment opportunities.
“If it’s a Corona-based budget, no steps have been announced to tackle this serious issue,” he said and added that unrealistic targets of 2.1% GDP growth and 27% growth in revenue without any no new tax has been given in Budget, which cannot be achieved.
He said that the no financial plan has been placed for the Covid-19-hit domestic trade and industry, importers, exporters, small and medium enterprises who have been severely affected due to the prolonged lockdown.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that the PIAF was expecting a relief-focused budget, with huge relaxation in utility tariffs to facilitate the documented and registered SMEs and the whole and industry.
PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed said that PIAF’s fundamental demand of reduction in sales tax from 17 percent to single digit was not accepted, as not a single percent cut in ST has been proposed in the budget.
The PIAF had submitted proposals with the federal government, urging it to come up with a relief-focused and tax-free budget in the face of Covid-19, but unfortunately no such announcement in this regard was made.
Nasir Hameed said that no policy has been announced to reduce the energy cost that is one of the biggest reasons of high input cost. He added that demands of interest-free loans for registered small businesses and removal of withholding tax and end to advance tax at import stage have not been accepted.