PESHAWAR, June 1: Acting president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Ziaul Haq Sarhadi said on Friday that the federal budget for fiscal year 2012-13 was a balanced one.
Speaking at a press briefing to record his reaction following presentation of the budget, Mr Sarhadi said that reduction of sales tax percentage from 17 to 16 was a welcome step.
He said that the decision to increase the limit from current Rs25,000 to Rs50,000 for implementation of withholding tax on cash withdrawals from banks would benefit small traders. He also welcomed reduction in withholding tax on exports from one per cent to 0.5 per cent. The decision, he said, would boost exports of the country.
The SCCI leader demanded of the government to make further reduction in customs duty, which was reduced in the budget from existing 35 per cent to 30 per cent. He said that the government should increase allocations for developmental schemes.
Mr Sarhadi also said that increase in limit of amount for tax exemption from Rs300,000 to Rs400,000 was a step in the right direction.
Commenting on the budget, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam secretary information, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Abdul Jalil Jan said that the government should have given more relief to people. He said that the government should have taken steps such as lowering prices of electricity, gas and petroleum products to provide relief to common man.
Provincial Minister for Finance Mohammad Humayun said that the federal budget was a balanced one and it was not possible to present a better budget than this in current difficult economic situation.
He also congratulated Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on presentation of the pro-poor budget, carrying no new taxes. He also welcomed the announcement in the budget that 2,000 utility stores would be established to provide essential commodities to people.
PPP secretary information, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ayub Shah said that the government was working on 200 projects to resolve energy crisis in the country. He said that 20 per cent increase in salaries of public sector employees and levy of no new tax reflected the people-friendly policies of the government.
PML-Q, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, leader Nighat Orakzai said that in the prevailing situation the government had announced a good and more people-friendly budget than any other previous government.
Senior minister Rahimdad Khan and sports minister Aqil Shah said that the budget was welfare-oriented and balanced. —APP