FPCCI calls for economic emergency; calls for slashing policy rate to 7 percent.

KARACHI -- President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, on Monday, said that the economic environment has reached a point where the business community finds it justified to call for imposition of an economic emergency to end the economic uncertainty in the country.

The businesses cannot operate profitably under such harsh and unfavorable conditions, he said in a statement issued by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh was of the view that the policy rate must be aggressively brought down to 7 percent from its current level of 12.25 percent to make access to finance affordable for the private sector to keep the economic activities afloat. This step would also bring down the short-term debt servicing of the government by Rs 300 billion and provide breathing space to the government for the better fiscal management.

FPCCI Chief has proposed the simplification of personal income tax slabs down to 5 or 7 from the current 11 slabs. Interestingly, IMF had also recommended the same and it could add up to Rs 200 billion to the tax collection in a couple of years.

FPCCI President also called for an increase in Federal Exercise Duty (FED) on cigarettes and carbonated drinks to serve the dual...

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