Rawalpindi: (staff reporter) The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has shown strong resentment on measures taken in fiscal budget 2019-20 and termed that proposed redefinition will wiped out the cottage industry in the country.
RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem while addressing post budget seminar at Chamber house said that four changes have been proposed under new definition for cottage industry, one not having an industrial gas/electricity connection, second, must be located in residential area, thirdly, employing not more than 10 labourers working and fourth, the annual turnover should not more than Rs. 2 million.
The given definition will hammer the backbone of the national economy, he added. This is simply not possible and workable as under domestic connection WAPDA and Sui Gas department will not allow high load for particular section of industry like plastic, bakery items, food, furniture etc.
RCCI President said that more than fifteen thousand cottage industries across the country are facing shut down in the wake of higher utilities’ prices and imported Chinese goods, which has glutted the domestic market in the last ten years.
Plastic molding and embroidery sectors have also badly suffered due to increasing cost of business, he added. “The two major industries are believed to be the economic barometers of any country- one is small and medium enterprises and the second is cottage industry. The growth of these two important sectors help flourish country’s economy,” he further added.
Besides dumping of cheaper goods of China the cottage industrial units had begun toward closures, and more than 10,000 units have closed their operations because of increasing and unaffordable utility tariffs during the last 15 months, Malik Shahid Saleem informed.
The RCCI president said that the Chamber in its Budget recommendations had demanded that tax incentives should be given to local industry to promote imports substitution and GST should be reduced to single digit level to bring down cost of doing business. The sales tax on cottage industry like shoe manufacturing from scrap and recycle material must be abolished.
Senior Vice President Muhammad Badar Haroon, Vice President Fayyaz Qureshi, Group leader Sohail Altaf, former presidents, renowned tax advisor, Hafiz Muhammad Idrees, Habib Fakher Din, Chairman and Vice Chairman standing committee on tax, members of the executive committee, representatives from trade associations and a large number of traders attended the seminar.