KARACHI: Acting President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Muffasar A Malik, has stressed the need for ensuring a pro-business environment in Pakistan.
Exchanging views with a 14-member delegation of officers from National Management College Lahore who were on a visit to KCCI on Monday, Malik suggested that in order to enhance Pakistan’s revenue, the decision makers, instead of overburdening the existing taxpayers, must reduce the exorbitant tax rates and devise a clear strategy for effectively dealing with non-taxpayers by offering them nominal tax rate.
This will help to curtail outflow of local investment, attract new foreign investment and trigger tangible economic activities across the country, he said.
“We oppose the high tax rate on the existing taxpayers as it will never help to achieve the desired objective”, he said. “But the revenue target can certainly be achieved when a maximum number of people are taken into the tax net by asking them to pay nominal tax, which can be gradually raised later on”, he added.
He identified three major challenges, including law and order situation, energy crisis and corruption, being faced by the country. “Of these three challenges, the worst one is corruption, which if addressed will help to resolve many other issues,” he said.
��Hw���� Association President Gul Afzal Khan Shinwari said that the activists did not stop the containers and trailers of transit and local goods. “Transit trade and local goods like cement, steel, flour, paints, etc smoothly travelled and entered Afghanistan,” he said.
He said that the blockade of the Nato supplies carriers at Peshawar did not lead to any mentionable nuisance for the transporters carrying local exports and transit trade goods as the border crossing had already been closed.
He said that the border was sealed soon after a suicide attack on the Customs officials on November 21. It was reopened and over 100 waiting vehicles crossed the border at Torkham, he added.
The continuous road blockades by political parties and strikes by transporters were painful for Director of Afghanistan Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (APJCCI), Ziaul Haq Sarhadi. He said that 80 per cent of the transit trade had already been shifted to the Bandar Abbas port in Iran while the remaining 20 per cent has also been put in jeopardy by these incidents.
He maintained that the new transit trade agreement signed in 2010 had already rendered thousands of customs clearing agents, truckers and others jobless while few bonded carriers of transit goods would also lose the source of their earning if such blockades continued.
“They stopped our trucks on Sunday, manhandled the drivers and broke seals of the commercial transit containers,” Sarhadi said. If the seal of a transit container is broken a criminal case is registered against the drivers, he stressed. He said the entire dealing of transit trade is carried out online and the drivers possess only a few travel documents showing no specific details of the consignment.
Transportation of transit and local goods exports to Afghanistan has come to a virtual standstill for little less than one month after the two-week long strike by bonded carriers in Karachi and now the subsequent blockade, Sarhadi said.