Businessmen demand tax on agriculture income
LAHORE – Presidents of all chambers of commerce and industry including the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry have unanimously called for levying tax on agriculture income to broaden the tax net in the country. President FPCCI Zubair Ahmad Malik and VP SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik called for complete political stability coupled with better law and order for sustained economic growth, which would help meet the economic challenges facing the country. Zubair said in the coming days only such countries would survive which had a strong economic base. Foreign investment from multinational companies and private sectors will only pour in the country if democratic institutions are strengthened and a peaceful atmosphere prevails, he added. He said that according to decisions taken with consensus recently by chambers chiefs drawn from all over the country at Bhurban, a workable mechanism be devised amongst regions and stakeholders to review and reach a political consensus for construction of new water reservoirs and dams on a war footing which were vital for power generation and boosting economic activities, besides bumper agriculture production in the country. He said that chambers’ presidents also urged leaders of all political parties to help strengthen the democratic system in the larger national interest as political stability was essential for economic development and restoring confidence of foreign and local investors. Iftikhar Ali Malik said the government must evolve a long term economic policy with complete legislative cover for bringing about economic revolution in the country and fully exploiting indigenous natural resources and all stakeholders must also be taken on board prior to formulation of all national economic policies. Regarding women enterprise, the chiefs further suggested that separate SMEs and MSMEs policy for women entrepreneurs should also be developed and implemented as women could play a key role in nation building developments. About condition of state owned entities, they said that all board of directors of public sector should be restructured on merit and highly fairly competent professionals of international repute from private sector must be inducted in the boards to make them profit earning rather than incurring heavy financial losses and chairman should also be appointed by board of directors in accordance with international practices.