All-Pakistan Chambers’ Pre-budget Conference : ‘If proposals not accepted, budget will be rejected’

* Trade leaders urge govt to launch referendum on KBD
All-Pakistan Chambers’ Pre-budget Conference :  ‘If proposals not accepted, budget will be rejected’

KARACHI: In a major drive to bring economic prosperity back to the country, the business community of Pakistan has unanimously established a platform against the discriminatory powers of bureaucracy, deciding to provide practical recommendations to the government through shadow budget.
If the proposals are not included in the next budget then the business community of the country will not further follow the current rulers’ instructions and will not accept the budget. This was stated jointly by presidents of 18 major chambers of commerce and associations of Pakistan on Tuesday during the first All-Pakistan Chambers’ Pre-budget Conference held at a local hotel, organised by Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Musharraf regime was the best for the business community as in 1999 when Musharraf took the charge the tax income was Rs 350 billion while due to positive measures by Musharraf’s regime led the tax income to Rs 1,940 billion in 2013, said Businessmen Group (BMG) Chairperson and former KCCI president Siraj Kassam Teli.
Teli, while addressing the all Pakistan business leaders’ gathering said that time for the business community has come to take harsh steps as the bureaucracy is continuously misguiding the government for its own interests. While the business community, despite making huge contribution to the economy of the country is being suppressed by unfair SRO culture regularly. In this regard, he presenting the suggestion said that the government should establish three zones consisting on three categories like red, green and yellow based on negotiability margin.
He said that all Pakistan business community will collectively present budget proposals to the government and if the incumbent does not include those recommendations, we will not accept the budget.
On this occasion, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Kashif Anwar addressing the conference said, “Our unity today shows that we are a peace-loving nation, we don’t need external aid as we can revitalise our economy on our own, but, the regime has to trust the business community as the government has never showed faith in us.” 
Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Dr Shimail Daud Arain said that unnecessary power of bureaucracy should be removed for the good omen of the country’s economy. He said that representatives of business community from all four provinces of the country have presented most implementable and serious budget proposals and this time it will definitely bring results.
In a letter and in spirit the government should improve tax culture as human interface in tax regime should be minimised to avoid corruption, he added.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Zahidullah Shinwari said that if the state earns huge revenue from us in terms of tax collection then providing safe and secure business environment is the responsibility of the government. To tackle energy crisis the government should focus on long-term planning by utilising our hydel resources, he added. While steps are being taken to broaden the tax net at the same time tax regime should be stable by justified indirect and direct taxes structure, he added. 
Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Suahil bin Rasheed said, “To realise sheer benefits of the GSP Plus status the government should take rationalised steps to minimise the cost of doing business as lack of resources and huge export of raw material is indicating further increase in cost of doing business in the future.
Gilgit–Baltistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Johar Ali Raki said that Gilgit-Baltistan has been naturally bestowed with three rivers and currently with the collaboration of China 7,000 megawatts (MW) hydel project is being constructed while Diamer-Bhasha Dam having the capacity to produce 6,000 MW can make Pakistan an energy exporter but the current rulers have ignored the region.
Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Muhammad Asim Siddiqui said that in the past all chambers of the country separately submitted the proposal but this time unanimous one-page document budget proposals will bring the economic reforms for the country, as 99 percent problems of all Pakistan business community are the same.
Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Zahid Saeed said that the government should launch a referendum on Kalabagh Dam (KBD) as our billions of precious wealth has been invested on the project and the work is almost done.
KBD alone has the capability to diminish the energy crisis but the regime is not serious to resolve the issue on the name of consensus adding that technocrats can be taken on board to make consensus for KBD, said Saeed.
KCCI President Abdullah Zaki said that Afghan transit and all other anomalies in terms of under-invoicing and other corruption should be ended on priority basis. In addition, frequent amendments in customs regulation without taking stakeholders on board should stop, he added.

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