HCCI slams budget, fears tougher measures under IMF dictates – Latest News – The Nation
HYDERABAD – The Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) has said that the federal government has appeased the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through the 2022-23 budget. HCCI Chairman Adeel Siddiqui also feared that more changes would most likely be made to the budget under the dictates of the IMF, as the government had already hinted at an 11.5% price hike this fiscal year. . He noted that the property tax had been increased from 1% to 2% and that a withholding tax had also been imposed. This, he says, would increase the cost of housing. “Housing is already a serious problem that people are facing and the proposed property tax increase would further increase the cost of housing,” he added. He said the net tax ceiling had been increased from Rs400,000 to Rs600,000 which was still the lowest. Mr Siddiqui also criticized the proposed Rs 12 billion allocation for the agricultural sector, saying it was insufficient. He pointed out that the figure for non-taxpayers stood at 2.5 million while 1.5 million people appeared to be zero-return filers. He said textiles also needed incentives given its $7 billion exports. Such a type of budget was highly anticipated, he said. The head of the HCCI insisted on controlling the prices of edibles. Regarding the allocation of Rs24 billion for the health sector, he said it showed that the per capita allocation of Rs100 was made while the expenditure on drugs and consultation was too high. Mr. Siddiqui suggested that the solar power system should be part of housing programs for energy conservation. He welcomed the government’s initiative to subject small traders to the tax net.
In his reaction, Awami Tehreek (AT) dismissed the budget as “anti-people”, observing that new taxes were imposed on the poor to make their lives miserable.
In a statement, TA Chairman Dr. Rasool Bux Khaskheli and other leaders said the country was on the brink of bankruptcy while Sindh’s agricultural sector was destroyed due to his refusal to ‘water. This sector, which is the backbone of the country’s GDP, has been constantly weakened, they added.
They noted that GDP was now totally tax-based, which is why the rise in prices remained endless. They were of the opinion that this price increase was not the result of a specific condition, but the result of anti-people policies. They wondered if feudal lords, capitalists and multinational corporations were spared when it came to levying taxes, but the prices of fuel and edibles had risen to collect more taxes from ordinary people.
They pointed out that last year only 1.77% of the education sector budget was used and that this budget is currently reduced by 50%.
They lamented that elite spending had been increased rather than reduced.
They strongly criticized the 50% reduction in allocations to the education, health and social welfare sectors.