PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Friday categorically rejected the budget for financial year 2023-24 presented by the federal government, terming it as disappointing and not growth oriented and categorically reject it.
The federal government didn’t taken relief measures for business community while keeping in view the depressing economic conditions, says Ijaz Khan Afridi, acting president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while talking to media persons after presentation of federal budget for FY 2023-24 by federal minister for finance Senator Ishaq Dar on the floor of the national assembly here on Friday.
Ijaz Khan Afridi termed the budget for financial year 2023-24 as jugglery of words and miscalculation of figures, in which no relief was given to the business community. He lamented that the SCCI proposals were not incorporated in the budget.
Former FPCCI president Ghazanfar Bilour, former presidents Zahidullah Shinwari, Malik Niaz Ahmad, Riaz Arshad, Faiz Muhammad Faizi, Hasnain Khurshid, Sherbaz Bilour, industrialist Association Peshawar president Malik Imran Ishaq, former vice presidents Naeem Butt, Abidullah Yousafzai, Faiz Rasool Saddar Gul,, leaders of traders community, importers and exporters were present during the press conference.
Ejaz Afridi said the business community has played a pivotal role in the economic development of the country by paving various taxes.
He said it is in dire need of hour to provide relief to promote businesses and industries and revive the national economy but the government didn’t give any such measures to remove the difficulties of the business community.
Afridi was of the view that the government had taken some steps in the budget for newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but they were not also sufficient to alleviate miseries of the tribal districts of the province.
While responding to various queries of the media persons, the acting SCCI president said the government has set an ambitious tax collection target by increasing from Rs7,200 billion to Rs9,200billion for next fiscal year, which was clear that it is not a tax-free budget. He also criticized the government for not incorporating SCCI proposals in the FY budget 2023-24.
Afridi replied to another question saying Pakistan is currently confronted with an economic crisis situation, which is historic and had never been seen ever so desperately needed to provide a special financial relief package to the business community.
He, however, said the government has planned to impose an additional burden of taxes on the business community and people instead of providing any relief through the budget, which is highly condemnable and unacceptable to them.
The acting president said the tax collection target set for the next financial year and initiatives had proved that the government has further burdened under debts on dictation of foreign financial lenders.
“We completely reject the budget for next financial year,” because we don’t expect presentation of such kind of budget under the “prevailing economic scenario”,
Afridi said that the business community has always played an important role in bringing economic stability in the country but the government was appointed by the business community all the time.
On the occasion, former president Zahidullah Shinwari, Ghazanfar Bilour and others also responded to various questions of the reporters.