APBF gears up consultations for budget proposals for 2022-23

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has started consultations for the final preparation of the Federal Budget proposals for 2022-23. This was announced at a meeting held here to finalize the proposals for the upcoming budget. The meeting was attended by APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood, APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi, Executive Committee members, besides various representatives of a number of trade and industry leaders.
Syed Maaz Mahmood said that the APBF has evolved two-pronged strategy to prepare proposals for the upcoming budget. On the first leg, all the Executive Committee members have been asked to submit sector-specific details about the problems being faced by their respective businesses, while secondly, a meeting of all the trade and industry associations has also been convened to get their final suggestions about the upcoming budget. After finalizing these proposals, the APBF would submit them to the Finance Ministry so that these proposals could be incorporated in the upcoming budget document, he said.
Syed Maaz Mahmood informed the meeting that efforts are being made to give the government a set of suggestions that would help turn the upcoming budget business-friendly in true sense of the word. He said business community understood that the government was utilizing its abilities to overcome the economic challenges but, at the same, the private sector considered itself duty-bound to tell the government of several hitches faced by it. All over the world the private sector plays a leading role as far as economic policy framework is concerned; therefore, APBF has also been playing its role to bring the country out of the economic mire through well-tailored budget proposals.
APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi observed that the government and the private sector should be on the same page on minor and major economic issues so that they could be resolved amicably and without any further delay, he said. The budget proposals will cover recommendations, including proposals to incentivize investors, broaden the tax net through documentation of economy, simplify tax system and reorganize the FBR and many industry-specific proposals. Promoting foreign direct investment (FDI), increasing the share of direct taxes in revenue and lowering the slab of indirect taxes would help achieve key economic targets set for the next fiscal year, Ibrahim Qureshi said. APBF, in its budget proposals, would also suggest that the sales tax slab should immediately be curtailed in order to reduce inflationary pressures, he said.
Syed Maaz Mahmood asked the FBR to utilize its abilities to overcome the economic challenges and consult the private sector to remove hitches to speedy economic recovery.
It is to be noted that the Federal Board of Revenue has sought the budget proposals for the upcoming financial year 2022-23 from its field officers, as well as from other stakeholders, including the business community.
The proposals, regarding the general sales tax and the federal excise duty, have been sought through two letters, the FBR wrote to its field officers and businessmen. The FBR has also asked that the proposals should be pro-revenue, and should focus on broadening the tax base, and that the amendments might be suggested with a view to achieve simplification, remove difficulties and anomalies.

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