The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized an “All Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conclave 2020” (APCPC 2020) few days ago in which 47 Presidents of Chambers of Commerce and Industry from across Pakistan participated. At the conclusion of the Conclave, Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Mian Anjum Nisar, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry issued a joint declaration of APCPC 2020 in which the Presidents of all Chambers unanimously demand of the Government of Pakistan to take following measures in order to create conducive business environment and for quick revival of economy:
- Key policy rate of 13.25 percent and 17 percent GST be reduced to single digit level.
- A just, fair and simplified taxation system may be developed.
- High taxes and RD on import of all industrial raw materials and parts used as manufacturing inputs be reduced besides reducing CD on raw material, intermediary products and machinery and same rate of duties for trade and industry across the country may be introduced.
- Government should merge all provincial revenue authorities and set up a National Tax Authority to reduce compliance costs for taxpayers and expand tax net.
- Exemption from ST on imported plant and machinery for Greenfield projects may be granted to brownfield projects and BMRE and special tax incentives be extended to all sick industrial units for speedy revival.
- Double taxation and tax competition among provinces be addressed and along with promoting tax harmonization and single filing mechanism.
- High prices of electricity, gas and petroleum products be reduced and policy & tariff rates for new industrial units in country be locked for 5 years.
- Government enhance the share of hydropower and renewable energy sources in energy mix to produce cheap energy.
- Timely release of tax refunds be ensured and mechanism of automatic payment of refunds without application or pre-audit within the set time period be introduced.
- FBR should expeditiously pay all outstanding refunds for which E-RPOs issued.
- In addition to CPEC SEZs, government demarcate industrial and economic zones and set up SEZs in country to accelerate industrialization.
- Easy access of finance to SMEs at low interest rates may be ensured besides providing export financing to SMEs and long term tax breaks be given to revive industrial clusters in all provinces
- Govt. should ensure release of development funds through concerned civic bodies across the country for upgradation of infrastructures in markets and commercial centres and business community may be familiarized with FTAs and e-commerce.
- Government should take measures to promote import substitution industry in the country.
- Finalization of new STPF, SME, Industrial Policy and other relevant economic policies may be expedited to give a clear direction to the private sector regarding government’s sectoral priorities.
- Strong measures may be taken to bring stability in the value of rupee and FBR may put in place a mechanism of quarterly public-private dialogue with the Presidents of all Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the country for inclusive dialogue and to build ownership of tax policy and administration reforms.