RCCI 16th APCPC joint declaration, demands consultation before budget

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Rawalpindi: The two-day 16th All Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference under the auspices of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) issued a joint statement in a press conference here on Thursday.

The joint declaration states that if the Chambers and the business community are not consulted before presenting the budget, the Chambers will reject it. It expressed hope that the government will involve the Chambers in the consultation process in the fiscal budget 2024-25. The term of presidents of chambers should be one year instead of two years. FBR should set targets to increase tax net instead of tax, 22% interest rate is a major obstacle to economic growth and industrialization, it should be reduced to single digit in a phased manner.

RCCI President Saqib Rafiq, while addressing the press conference said that Businessmen and taxpayers should be respected, all income regardless of source should be taxable under the uniform framework. There is a need to increase trade and better relations with neighboring countries, and regional trade should be promoted.

The joint declaration also demanded enabling one window operation to remove barriers to the business community. It also urged all political parties to sign the Charter of Economy. Green energy should be promoted as an alternative energy to reduce business costs.

The chamber presidents and representatives of the four provinces of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan participated in the conference. The conference discussed the annual budget, depreciation of the rupee, increase in production cost, high prices of petroleum products, electricity and gas, promoting solar installation, federal and provincial taxes. Trader-Friendly Scheme: Increase in tax net and privatization of government institutions were also discussed.