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Tax-exemptions, property rents waiver, relief on utility bills sought

PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has urged the federal government to incorporate its proposals in the upcoming fiscal budget for 2021-22, and to give special relief to traders community in the next budget, including tax-exemptions, waiving of property rents, utility bills and other incentives.

The demand was made by SCCI President Sherbaz Bilour through proposals for the upcoming financial year budget 2021-22, which had been presented before the federal government, said a statement issued here on Wednesday.

The SCCI sought the special financial relief package, including tax-relief, reduction in the ratio of taxes, special incentives for Covid-19-hit businesses and building a favorable business climate and competitiveness environment among local and foreign investors.

The concessional measures are inevitable to cope with the post-Covid-19 crisis situation, which has miserably hit local businesses, industrial sector as well as dwindled the national economy in the country, says Sherbaz Bilour.

Emphasizing on the abolition of double taxation and cut in ratio of the number of taxes, the SCCI chief said the special exemptions being offered to foreign investors needed to be reviewed to keep local industries and investors competitive, besides enhancing revenue by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Sherbaz Bilour said the Overseas Investors’ Chambers of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) had laid emphasis on sustaining the ongoing tax reforms process; however, he said that policies needed to be changed while keeping in view the prevailing economic conditions.

In the budget proposals, the SCCI chief said they had asked for utilization data of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for identifying potential taxpayers.

Similarly, he said the special financial relief and tax holidays for next three years had been proposed to revive the Covid-19-affected businesses and economy, and it also asked to give slump sum rebate on overall taxes as per case.

To encourage tax-payers, the chamber president stated that they had proposed to give special concessions in tax with a ratio of 15-20 percent in the next fiscal budget.

The SCCI chief believed the relief measures and incentives would create a friendly atmosphere between business community, withholding agents and FBR, including the corporate sector, and would also help to enhance the ratio of withholding tax.

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