RAWALPINDI, MAY 21: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has pinned high hopes and the expectation that the upcoming budget 2023-24 will be growth-oriented and industry-friendly.
RCCI President Saqib Rafiq while addressing the 8th executive committee meeting at chamber house, said that the business community expects a comprehensive industrial package so that the ailing economy can be put on the right track.
“The time has come to take hard decisions and adopt an export promotion strategy, set the right direction and we strongly demand that the basis of Pakistan’s economy shall be on exports instead of imports,” said Saqib Rafiq. We expect that the Finance Minister will introduce measures that support and promote exports. This can include incentives for export-oriented industries, facilitation of trade agreements, provision of export financing, and the development of export-related infrastructure, he added.
He said that RCCI has always been vocal and demanded that the tax net has to be broadened and in order to meet the budget targets; there is a need to bring non-tax paying sectors into the tax net.
He said that the stakeholders shall be taken on board for devising any policy framework and added that we expect that the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will engage chambers of commerce prior to finalizing the budget document. “We want to present and discuss budget proposals, key measures and recommendations on various sectors ranging from trade, taxation, tourism, SME, agriculture, livestock, IT, non-conventional sectors, Gems stone, and smuggling etc”. RCCI strongly desires to implement policies that promote macroeconomic stability, control inflation, and ensure a stable exchange rate. This stability provides a conducive environment for businesses to plan their investments and operations effectively, he added.
There are three major challenges where the government must take immediate steps, these are: High Interest rate, steep devaluation of Pak Rupee, and skyrocketing inflation that has increased the cost of doing business manifold, he added.
Due to restriction of opening of LC’s industries are running out of raw materials, and many have already shut down their operations as they are dependent on commercial importers for supply of raw materials, he further added.
He said that the business community expects the government to introduce policies and reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Pakistan. This may include streamlining bureaucratic procedures, reducing red tape, implementing online systems for registration and approvals, and enhancing investor protection mechanisms. The government must introduce investment incentives and measures that encourage both domestic and foreign investments. This may include tax breaks or exemptions for specific industries, subsidies for research and development, access to credit facilities, and measures to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, he added.