Leather industry meets government to address ‘anti-industry’ budget

22 June 2009

A strong 40-member delegation of the business community led by Sultan Chawla, president, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) met Shaukat Tareen, adviser to the Prime Minister on finance. The federal textile minister, chairman federal board of revenue (FBR), the finance secretary and other top officials from the government were also present at the meeting last week. The Pakistan Tanners' Association (PTA) represented the leather sector at the meeting.

PTA chairman, Agha Saiddain said Tareen had assured him that the export industry would be made tax-free soon. Tareen assured the export industry that the introduction of the previous policy of 1% tax deduction as discharge of final tax liability would be looked at. The minister also assured that if any export industry was facing a loss, it would not be charged the maximum 1% deduction and a refund would be made accordingly. Saiddain said that the minister said he was aware of the problems of the export industries such as leather and especially in the context to the nearest competitors like India, China and Bangladesh. He said that the minister also assured the tanning industry that it would be provided initiatives to meet the government's target of a $5 billion export target within three years.

‘A thorough review of various issues related to the budget came under discussion,' said Chawla and revealed that major key decisions have been taken to remove the anomalies, especially relating to the protection of local industries as well as correction of the import duty rate on raw materials and semi-finished items.

Furthermore, the setting up of Income tax Intelligence Directorate has been reversed on the demand of the business community, Chawla said. The FPCCI chief called the meeting productive as the government side ‘looked serious and sincere' to address the grievances of the business community. Tareen stated that he would announce the decisions taken in the meeting to the National Assembly session on Monday (June 22).

Source: Pakistan Daily News



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