KARACHI: Abdul Hadi, president Site Association of Industry, described the federal budget 2021-22 as the first step in the right direction.

He said acknowledging the long-standing demand of the industrial community to reduce the undue powers of FBR officials; the government has almost stopped to harassment the business community by FBR officials. He said that according to the federal budget 2021-22 announced, taxpayers will now be able to do self-assessment under the self-assessment scheme and there will be no FBR interference. “Auditing will be done through a third-party, which will definitely close the door to bribery in FBR, and those who are reluctant to register in the tax net will be encouraged to be part of the tax net, which will generate significant revenue for the country”, he opined.

SAI chief appreciated the abolition of regulatory duty and reduction of duties on raw materials, saying that the move would not only benefit the export oriented industries and boost the country’s exports but also enable local industries to stand on their own feet. However, Abdul Hadi expressed deep concern over non-restoration of zero-rated regime and non-withdrawal of 17% sales tax despite all assurances, saying that government had assured before the budget to consider restoration of zero-rated regime or the 17% sales tax rate will be brought down to 5%. But unfortunately this has not been done, which will lead to a shortage of capital for exporters.

Abdul Hadi demanded the government to reconsider and restore the zero-rated regime, and if there is any difficulty in doing so, at least 17% sales tax should be brought down to 5%. So that the wheel of industry could run uninterrupted and exporters remain competitive in the international markets. This decision will play a vital role in export enhancement and can increase 4 to 5 billion dollar worth of exports in the coming year.