KARACHI: Small traders on Friday called the 2022-23 federal fiscal budget an “IMF financial blueprint,” saying it offers “very little” for small businesses.
The coalition government’s fiscal budget 2022-23, with an expenditure of 9.5 trillion rupees, has failed to attract small entrepreneurs as it also ignores the cottage industry, traders said.
“It’s not a nice budget,” said Pakistan Small Traders and Handicraft Industry Organization chairman Mehmood Hamid, but welcomed a budget proposal for a fixed tax on retailers.
This budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 also ignored the development of handicrafts, which is one of the main sources of employment in the country, he said, adding that “the fixed tax is ; however, a good step”.
He said the flat-rate mechanism will need full legal protection to help retailers protect themselves from tax hassles.
“The prices of electricity, fuel oil and gas are rising and will continue to rise,” he feared, adding that such runaway inflation would also hit the poor and traders. “The economy will be out of control,” he said, adding that “the IMF wants a tax deluge and nothing else.” The Prime Minister’s previous announcement to ban the import of luxury cars should have been protected in the budget, he said, proposing that “the import of all kinds of luxury cars should be banned so that currencies can be saved”. Mehmood Hamid said the budget will burden the public and traders with inflation, which will lead to downsizing. The budget has raised questions for traders about whether or not to plan for future investments. “This is a budget spelled out by the IMF and will have negative impacts on the economy,” he said, adding that new investments will be put on hold as traders are undecided about business expansion. .
All Karachi President Tajir Ittehad Muhammad Atiq Mir also welcomed the budget proposal for a fixed tax on retailers. However, he said, “the government has very little to offer small traders in the budget.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022