Caretaker Federal Finance Minister briefs FPCCI leadership on interim govt’s steps to stabilize economy



Caretaker Federal Finance Minister, Dr Shamshad Akhter, visited the head office of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) to brief top leaders of Karachi’s business community on the measures taken by the interim government to stabilize the economy, control exchange rate volatility and restructure FBR.
FPCCI President, Atif Ikram Sheikh, told the briefing that the business community supports the restructuring plan of the Federal Bureau of Revenue as visualized by the Federal Caretaker Minister for Finance & Revenue. The underlining principle of separation of tax policy and collection functions will help resolve contradictions, conflict of interests and maladministration; and, that’s why, FPCCI supports the restructuring proposals, he added.

Mr. Sheikh stated that the bifurcation of inland revenue and customs will streamline the operations of FBR; and, will not only align it with international best practices but also remove the concerns of international financial institutions like IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This is specifically important in Pakistan’s peculiar case as the country will continue to depend on external financing for the foreseeable future.
Mr Ikram Sheikh apprised that it was a longstanding demand of the entire business, industry and trade community of Pakistan to implement complete digitalization and transparency of FBR operations to deal with harassment of the business community at the hands of tax officers and unnecessary issuance of tax notices.
FPCCI President also highlighted the issues of the edible oil industry; i.e. section 8-B of the sales tax act that should be abolished and 10 per cent differential disfavoring and discouraging the industrialists in comparison to commercial importers should be eliminated. Additionally, to facilitate industries, higher tariffs should be charged to commercial importers than industries.
Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, maintained that the input of businessmen’s apex body must be incorporated into the budget-making process and taxation policies as FPCCI is undertaking a massive exercise to formulate its budget proposals for the federal budget 2024 – 25 through aggregating feedback from all chambers, associations and trade bodies from across Pakistan.

FPCCI SVP stressed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the real engine of growth as they create employment and generate revenues for the country; therefore, they should be facilitated in the economic, industrial, trade, investment and taxation policies of the country.

Dr. Shamshad Akhter agreed with FPCCI’s demand that its representatives should be included in all important and relevant committees of the Finance and Revenue ministries as the business community is the real stakeholder of the economy. She also appreciated the active participation of the business community in the government’s consultative process with the private sector on the platform of FPCCI.

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