Commercial importers demand abolishing CNIC condition, FTR restoration

KARACHI: Commercial importers have demanded the government of abolishing condition of Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) and restoring Final Tax Regime (FTR) in order to save businesses from adverse impact of COVID-19.

Amin Yousuf Balgamwala, Chairman Pakistan Chemical Dyes and Merchants Association (PCDMA) and former Director of Karachi Stock Exchange has appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to restore FTR and SRO 1125 in the upcoming budget 2020/2021 in the best economic interest of the country so that trade and industry can be saved from complete destruction due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In an appeal to Prime Minister, Balgamwala said that the business of commercial importers has been ruined as a result of corona lockdown and severe economic crisis.

For the prevention of this pandemic all over the world including Pakistan were announced a lockdown to save the lives of masses.

Due to closure of industries and markets, the capital of commercial importers was stuck and now the situation has reached such a stage that commercial importers do not even have the funds to revive the import of raw material.

“If import of raw material would be stopped then it will be very difficult to supply raw material to export-oriented industries accordingly their requirement especially textile sector, which is the backbone of Pakistan economy, as country economy is already suffering from serious crises so if there is a shortage of raw materials, the production activities of the export-oriented industries  including textile sector will also be hampered which will have a very negative impact on the country’s exports,” he pointed out.

PCDMA chairman questioned pursuing a pick and choose strategy by the government and said that it is a matter of concern for the business community but the government should understand the delicacy of the current extraordinary situation and provide relief to all sectors of economy.

“Whether it is the export sector or the import sector, the government should provide relief across-the-board without any discrimination so that the businesses and industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can get stand up again on their feet,” he opined.

Amin Balgamwala demanded the Prime Minister to abolish the CNIC condition on sale of goods to unregistered persons and said that if immediate relief was not given to commercial importers, they would be forced to close their business. In addition to reinstating SRO 1125, chairman PCDMA also demanded to restore a fixed tax regime (FTR), which is the only way to save trade and industry from collapse.

He also requested to keep petrol pumps open 24 hours a day for uninterrupted supply of raw materials to the industries and appealed to the Prime Minister to allow business 6 days a week also so as to offset the losses caused by the corona lockdown.

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