FPCCI, trade bodies demand restoration of EDB
Trade bodies and the chambers, in a national conference held under the banner of FPCCI in Lahore, have demanded restoration of the Engineering Development Board (EDB). They also stressed upon immediate payment of refunds to the industry. Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Malik said that the number of research centers and laboratories should be increased while there should be strong linkage between industry and the academia. Research is very important for promotion of industries and same should be on industrial requirement. He said there is dire need of skilled manpower as CPEC projects are bringing many job opportunities in the country. He said the United Business Group (UBG) would never ever compromise on the interests of the business community and take their genuine grievances to higher levels. He said that the auto industry and agricultural sector were not showing proper growth. Pakistan’s auto market is considered among the smallest but it is fastest growing in South Asia, demanding the government should follow its own “Auto Policy 2016-21” and offer tax incentives to new automakers for establishing manufacturing plants in the country. He said that the EDB in past played a significant role for promotion of hardware engineering and he wondered why the government dissolved such important department. He demanded to restore the board as soon as possible. Patron-in-chief UBG and former Chief Executive of the Trade Development Authority Pakistan SM Muneer claimed a major chunk of industries especially textile and leather was suffering colossal financial losses and thus needed immediate oxygen otherwise industrial sector would collapse. He said nearly 200 textile and leather units were forced to shut down because of heavy taxation and absence of relief from the government. SM Muneer stressed upon an urgent need for introducing pro-poor, business friendly , export and growth oriented monetary policies to help strengthen national economy on sound footings besides restoring confidence of foreign and local investors. Manzoor-Ul-Haq Malik, Regional Chairman FPCCI, said the elected government should focus on issues of business sector otherwise they would lose their vote bank. He said government should make efforts to bring non-registered tax payers into tax net instead of squeezing already registered tax payers. Tax return system should be simplified. Help desk of Punjab Revenue Authority should be established at each Chamber of District. Discretionary powers given to the Federal Board of Revenue officials should be withdrawn. Business representative should be included as Board of Directors of all Government Institutions, PBIT, TDAP, FBR and NTC. He further stressed on enhancing industrialization, balancing trade, increasing exports. He added double taxation should be discouraged. He said direct taxes should be encouraged instead of indirect tax system. He said Pakistan was at 144th number of ease of doing business ranking of World Bank out of the list of 190 countries which is alarming.