PESHAWAR: The business community on Thursday rejected the proposed ‘mini-budget’ and warned that the imposition of Rs170 billion taxes worth billions of rupees would unleash a “storm of inflation” to the misery of the poor people besides slowing down the national economy.

Representatives of businessmen held a meeting at the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here and said new taxes would lead the economy to a complete destruction.

SCCI president Mohammad Ishaq later told reporters that the federal government was set to make people’s life extremely miserable through the mini-budget.

He said the move would escalate the cost of industrial production and lead to a total collapse of the economy.

Mr Ishaq said the business community would take “aggressive steps” if policies were made against its interests and in that case, the government would be responsible for any untoward incident.

He said it had become quite difficult and instead impossible to run industries and businesses after a whopping increase in the prices of electricity, gas and petroleum products.

“Businessmen are in great trouble due to the anti-business policies of the government,” he said.

Mr Ishaq also complained about the unavailability of raw materials to industries due to the refusal of commercial banks to open letters of credit and said the situation had aggravated. He said unilateral policies of the government had added to difficulties of the business community on a daily basis, which was highly condemnable.

The SCCI leader said those who claimed to put the economy on the right track and bring down the value of the American dollar had led the country to bankruptcy.

He said on one hand, the government claimed to be taking austerity measures but on the other, it had created a large cabinet.

Mr Ishaq said the appointment of a brigade of ministers, advisers and special assistants was a sheer injustice to the country’s poor people.

He said on one hand, the country was sinking into foreign debts but on the other, the rulers were increasing their unnecessary expenditure.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2023

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