LAHORE: Provincial Finance Minister Mahkhdoon Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that Federal and Punjab Budgets for the financial year 2021-22 will be pro-business. Tax reliefs were given in the Punjab Budget 2020-21 and same approach will be adopted in the upcoming budget.
The Minister was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry along with Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Zain ul Abidin. LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah presented the address of welcome while Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry also spoke on the occasion.
Makhdoon Hashim Jawan Bakht said that in the upcoming Punjab Budget a package of Rs.10 billion would be given with the aim of enhancing global competitiveness of our industry. “The testing lab facility will be part of the package”, he said adding that testing labs are being set up for the food and drugs sector. He said that the business community will be consulted for special package
About Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess, the Minister said that the feasibility in this regard will be completed within three months and if study will support and help to restore the activities at dry ports, Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess will be abolished.
“We are committed to give more tax relief to the businessmen in the next financial year”, the Minister added.
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that the imposition of Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess at the rate of 0.9% on Dry Ports in Punjab has prompted many businesses based in Lahore and other parts of Punjab to get their consignments cleared from Karachi. This has resulted in tremendous loss of business volume at Dry Ports in Punjab, shifting of Tax revenues from Dry Ports in Punjab to Karachi and furthermore hampered the businesses of Clearing Agents and Transportation Companies that provide sizeable employment. He demanded the removal of this Cess in the provincial budget 2021-22 to ease out the business community and revive economic activities at the Dry Ports.
He said that the water tariff of WASA Lahore for industrial and commercial users (Rs.100,000 for 1 Cusec and Rs50,000 for ½ Cusec) is considerably higher as compared to other cities of Punjab like Faisalabad and Multan etc. The water tariff in Faisalabad for dyeing processing Industry is Rs 13,000/Cusec and Rs 19,000/Cusec per month for General Industry. Since both the cities are under the same provincial government, uniform water tariff should be applied in all cities of Punjab.
LCCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that industrial land has become very costly and hampering industrial expansion. They said that business community cannot afford installation of