LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the country’s economic managers not to ask the source of income from businesses at least for the next two years in a bid to support the economy.

“For increasing investment in this lockdown period and removing economic distress, the source of income should not be asked for any kind of investment in any sector of the economy for the next two years,” the LCCI office-bearers said on Monday in budget proposals made for the federal government in the post-Covid-19 economic scenario.

The association of businessmen proposed that interest payments along with payments of electricity and gas bills should be deferred for six months to improve the cash flow of businesses.

Moreover, they suggested that to help businesses cope with the losses suffered due to Covid-19, the government should bear complete expenses of salaries for six months. Businesses should be allowed to pay back to the government in easy installments over a period of two years, they said.

Furthermore, according to the proposals, sales tax should be removed on the import of plant, machinery, equipment and components for balancing, modernisation and replacement (BMR) of all existing industrial units including small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The chamber proposed electricity tariff of 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for all sectors through the elimination of taxes, in line with the recent decline in global oil prices. It suggested that income tax rate should be reduced to 15% for the businesses for next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2020.

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