PESHAWAR: The provincial government should take measures for elimination of double taxation and giving exemption to the Hayatabad Industrial Estate from additional taxes to encourage the taxpayers.

These demands were made by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sherbaz Bilour while chairing a meeting during the visit of special assistant to chief minister on excise and taxation, Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, here at the chamber’s house on Thursday.

According to a statement, the SCCI chief asked the provincial government for practical steps to give relief to the business community amid the Covid-19 pandemic and take it on board while formulating economic policies.

The meeting was also attended by SCCI vice-president Junaid Altaf, former FPCCI president Ghazanfar Bilour, Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz, Industrialists Association Peshawar president Zarak Khan, excise and taxation department officers and leaders businessmen.

Sherbaz Bilour said the abolition of double taxation was essential to address grievances of the business community. He said that illegal tax notices and crackdown on business premises was tantamount to creating a gulf between the business community and government departments concerned.

Ghazan Jamal acknowledged that the business community had always played an important role in revenue generation and assured that all possible steps would be taken to facilitate it at every level. He said the government was formulating a concrete strategy to eliminate double taxation and bring new people under the tax net.

Earlier on Wednesday, the SCCI president demanded of the government to slash interest rate to boost national economy and improve trade activities affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the country. He was speaking during a meeting with representatives of traders and industrialists at the chamber’s house, according to a statement.

The SCCI chief said the government was likely to increase the interest rate by up to 2 per cent, which would prove detrimental to the businesses and trade. He said the closure of Pak-Afghan border from time to time and prolonged lockdown had slowed down the trade activities.

He said the State Bank of Pakistan had retained the policy rate at 7 per cent which should be reduced as it could discourage new investment in different development projects.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020