LAHORE: The business community on Saturday appreciated the State Bank of Pakistan’s decision of removing cash margin restrictions on imports of goods terming it a step in the right direction.

“We welcome the SBP’s decision, as measures taken to minimise imports were affecting the industry that was facing a shortage of raw materials, machinery and other inputs leading to disturbing many sectors.”

The blockage of funds situation was also arising due to the condition of 100pc cash margin but now the situation would take a positive turn around,” Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Kashif Anwar said in a statement.

“The removal of cash margin will support the ease of doing business in Pakistan as a large number of companies were facing raw material shortages due to imposition of cash margin restriction. It is a wise decision,” he added.

The LCCI chief was also of the view that the government should also eliminate regulatory duty, customs duty and additional customs duty on essential raw materials. Apart from this, the issues of pending refunds and multiple audits should also be resolved besides reducing the rate of withholding tax for businesses.

He said unprecedented interest rates and high energy prices have pushed up the cost of doing business to unsustainable levels.

“We have always insisted on increasing the tax base. We have suggested the government to immediately announce a declaration scheme so that undeclared foreign reserves can become part of our economy,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2023

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