KARACHI: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has urged the Sindh government to withdraw infrastructure cess for easing cost of doing business.
In its proposals for provincial budget 2020/2021, the OICCI said that businesses based in Sindh have been requesting for elimination of the Sindh Development and Maintenance Infrastructure Fee/ Cess on all imports for many years, as this levy is a big contributor not only to the cost of doing business in Sindh, but also to the impediments in ease of doing business.
This levy was introduced through the Sindh Finance Act, 1994 (as amended from time to time) on all imports and is also been under litigation for many years.
The OICCI proposed that Sindh Development and Maintenance Infrastructure Cess be withdrawn in its entirety.
The OICCI, seventy percent of whose membership is based in Sindh, have been regularly recommending, via its annual taxation proposals for withdrawal of this levy, as it adversely affects cost of doing business in Sindh and elimination of the same will reduce unnecessary burden on importers through Sindh Province, the OICCI said.
The current COVID-19 related crisis impacting businesses and creating liquidity and profitability issues is perhaps the right time for the Sindh Government to eliminate this disputed levy and help the businesses in their struggle to continue business operations and pay their monthly wage bills.