A delegation of chairpersons of different Senate standing committees visited representatives of different chambers and trade associations at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) office to hold discussion on the upcoming budget. The delegation comprised Senators Talha Mehmood, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs; Senator Abdul Qadir Khan, Chairman Standing Committee on Petroleum, Senator Kamil Ali Agha and former federal minister Shiekh Waqas Akram. The meeting was also attended by office bearers of FPCCI and the representatives of chambers of commerce and trade associations of Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federal Area, and Gilgit-Baltistan. Speaking on the occasion, Senator Talha Mahmood said that only the business community can fix the country’s economic crunch but officially they are not treated in a good manner and called with different tags in the society. He said that there is a trust deficit between the business community and tax authorities. The government cannot collect taxes forcefully from them and have to create a friendly and respectable atmosphere, he further said. He said that the rebates and refunds are the right and trust of the business community in the hands of the government, and these should be returned immediately. Business community suggestions should be made an integral part of the budget because they are direct stakeholders, he said. Senator Abdul Qadir Khan and Kamil Ali Agha promised to resolve the problems of the business community on priority basis. They said that all the members of the Senate will work together with the FPCCI for the economic development of Pakistan. They said that the government makes laws while the policies are made by the people who are neither stakeholder nor have any business but are salaried people who completely ignore the problems of the business community. They said that due respect should be given to the taxpayer, so that the other people who are out of the tax net can be motivated to join the tax net. On the occasion, former president of FPCCI Mian Anjum Nisar gave a detailed briefing to the participants regarding the budget proposals sent to the government by FPCCI. The FPCCI office-bearers said that taxpayers are treated with high respect all over the world and they feel proud of being taxpayers. However, the situation is opposite in Pakistan and taxpayers feel disappointment as they are facing high mark-up rates, high tariff of electricity/gas and other high cost of doing business as compared to other regional countries, they maintained. Moreover, every year in the new budget, the existing taxpayers are charged more taxes by the tax authorities instead of expanding the tax net, they complained. They said that taxpayers are always targeted by the tax authorities and resultantly those people who are out of the tax net remain always reluctant to come into the tax net. They stressed on introducing reforms in the tax system and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), making the business easier and providing the best level playing field and free hand to the business community.