RCCI terms mini-budget business friendly

Updated January 26, 2019

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Commerce body says mini-budget will offer incentives to industries that will set direction of economy. — File photo
Commerce body says mini-budget will offer incentives to industries that will set direction of economy. — File photo

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Friday termed the supplementary finance bill 2019 business friendly.

“It will offer incentives to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), industry, agriculture and capital market that will set the direction of the economy,” RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem said in a press release.

He said that despite economic crunch and a number of domestic and international challenges, the government had announced business and people-friendly reforms package but it needed to be implemented in letter and spirit from January instead of July 1.

He said the government had incorporated in the Finance Bill majority of the proposals submitted by the traders and businessmen Finance Minister Asad Umar and adviser Abdul Razak Dawood.

He said the new mini-budget would reduce the cost of doing business and accelerate the growth of manufacturing activities.

The RCCI President said the government had taken a good step by allowing the businessmen to file biannually withholding tax statements instead of every month.

He said waiving withholding tax on bank transactions for tax filers would give relief to small traders.

He said the government had reduced income tax rate from 35pc to 20pc on income of banks from loans would help the banking sector to extend more credit to SMEs for business expansion.

The business community also hailed other steps announced by the Finance Minister Asad Umer like introduction of interest-free revolving credit of Rs5 billion (qarz-i-hasana), reduction of fixed tax on marriage halls from Rs20,000 to Rs5,000, exemption of duties on investment in solar panels and wind turbines for five years and removal of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GDIC) from fertilizer production.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2019