LAHORE: The newly elected President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Almas Hyder has called for good and friendly mechanism to ensure much-needed expansion in tax net. It would encourage people to come into the tax net voluntarily.
He was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Newly elected Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir, Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigol, outgoing President Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, Vice President Zeshan Khalil and Election Commissioner Sohail Lashari also spoke on the occasion.
Almas Hyder said that a friendly mechanism has to be developed to encourage the people to come into the tax net voluntarily. He suggested that a scheme should be introduced for the business community that those people would be exempted from audit that have paid 20% extra tax than the previous year. It would not only bring huge number of people into the tax net but would also enable government to meet its revenue targets.
The LCCI newly elected president urged the Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the date for the filing of income tax returns till October 30th as business community cannot file their returns due to elections of trade bodies, problems in online system and various other reasons. He said that an extension in the date of filing of returns would not only facilitate the business community but it would also strengthen public-private partnership.
Almas Hyder mentioned that no land is available in Lahore for industrialization. Two years ago, he said, LCCI identified 66,000 acres of land in south and north for establishment of new industries but yet no notification has been issued in this regard while file is lying in the office of Chief Minister Punjab. He said that notification should be issued immediately.
He said that population of Lahore is over 10 million but infrastructure is not up to the mark. He said that airport in Lahore is smaller than the airports in rural areas of China. Likewise Lahore Railway station is still there where it was in 1947. He urged the government to plan for immediate expansion in Lahore Airport and Lahore Railway station as these are the most important sources of communication. He also called for establishment of more hotels of international standards to boost the hospitality industry.
Almas Hyder also called for improvement in ease of doing business saying that international ranking of Pakistan in ease of doing business index is 147 that should be a matter of concern. He said that cost of doing business is one of the major hurdles hampering the growth of all sectors of economy whether it is manufacturing or agriculture. He said that the LCCI had already done a lot and prepared doable suggestions for ease of doing business.
He said that Pakistan, like other developing countries of the region, is facing a daunting task to meet its growing energy demand that is likely to double in the next few years. They said that government has to explore and exploit its all resources to match growing energy demand of domestic, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
Almas Hyder also talked highly about depleting water resources, gap between imports & exports, smuggling and pledged to work as a think tank for the policy corridors. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry will explore new markets for the Pakistani merchandise to enhance the national exports.
He said that LCCI this year would prepare strong budget proposals in consultation with economic experts and business community leaders with an objective to ensure maximum allocations for various sectors of the economy.
The LCCI new chief said that Research and Development is an area where proper attention can do miracles. He said that LCCI would work for the promotion of Research culture in Pakistan.
Newly elected Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Fahim-ur-Rehman Saigol said that top notch of the country, ministries and bureaucracy would be approached for early solution of the issues being faced by the business community besides making the LCCI role more effective and meaningful. They said that youth population is a precious asset of the country and they would be encouraged to step into the entrepreneurship. They said that Lahore Chamber of Commerce would also raise its voice for construction of parking plazas in the City as almost all the City traffic related problems were because of non-availability of proper parking space.
Earlier, the LCCI outgoing President Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Vice President Zeshan Khalil presented the one year performance and Election Commission announced the formal results.