The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Tuesday asked for proposals from businessmen for the federal budget for the year 2023-2024 which would be submitted to the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). RCCI President Saqib Rafiq while addressing the executive committee meeting said that the Chamber’s Standing Committee on tax affairs was finalizing the budget proposals. “These proposals will take into account the current economic challenges, particularly the depreciation of the rupee, problems faced by exporters and importers, rising inflation, increase in the cost of doing business, income tax, sales tax, point of sales, FBR powers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), renewable energy and industrialization.” He said that the focus would be on broadening the tax net, overreach, and harassment by tax authorities, and documenting the economy. Saqib Rafiq said, “At present, the current account is in surplus and appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Finance, however, he stressed increasing exports, protecting local industry and industrialization will have to be promoted.” Chamber President said that Rawalpindi Chamber had always been insisting to find new taxpayers and increase the tax net as the burden on existing taxpayers has been increased. “The inflation has increased many times, we also demand that our sales tax, interest rate, income tax and duties are very high compared to the neighbouring countries, we are far behind in the competitive environment, ” he added. He said, “Currently, the rate of sales tax is 18 percent, and in the recent mini-budget, the rate has been increased to 25 percent on certain items, which should be reduced to single-digit phase-wise.” Saqib demanded that double taxation should be eliminated as traders have severe concerns about Point of Sales(POS) installation especially with respect to the size of the shop. He suggested that the Point Of Sale (POS) matter should be implemented after consultation with stakeholders and building consensus.