Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has flayed the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet to impose regulatory duty on various products and demanded of the Federal Finance Minister to review its decision in the larger interest of the trade & economy.
In a statement issued here, LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir while terming ECC decision as a “Mini Budget” said that regulatory duty on various items would put an extra burden of Rs. 16 to 20 billion on the consumers.
He said that reportedly 5% regulatory duty was a result of the federal government’s commitment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the recently-completed sixth review under the 6.64 billion dollars Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to retrieve the reduction in government revenue due to a decline in the international price of petroleum and products.
The LCCI SVP said that furnace oil, electric equipment, canned food and metal scrap etc were not the luxury items as declared by the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet.
He said that a large part of electricity was being generated through thermal means and imposition of 5 percent regulatory duty on furnace would not only jack-up the electricity tariff but would also increase the cost of industrial production which is already on higher side as compared to the other countries of the region.
He said that there should be a clear difference between the luxurious and necessities and duty should be imposed on only 100% luxurious.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that the trade & industry was already passing through very critical times due to unavailability of electricity & gas and in dire need of handholding by the government to run their businesses.
He said that the private sector was ready to supplement all government efforts aimed at revival of economic activities in the country if they are provided breathing space but in the presence of such anti business decisions, it would be very difficult for the private sector to continue with their businesses.
He urged the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to review the decisions of Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet and withdraw regulatory duty on the essential items in the larger interest of the business community.
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