ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Businessmen Panel of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front termed the federal budget as balanced and progressive, as no new tax was imposed on the industry while reducing rate of some of earlier duties and taxes. Addressing a press conference on Friday along with FPCCI President Nasir Hayat Maggun and PIAF Chairman Mian Nauman Kabir, Panel’s Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar said that initial impression of the budget speech of the finance minister indicates that the budget was very positive for the industry. However, he said that budget was quiet on the power tariff, as the minister did not mention to increase or decrease the prices of electricity which is the real concern of the industry. He said that presently the real issue of the country was uncontrolled inflation but the budget also didn’t mention any subsidy for food items or reduction of sales taxes or import duties on edibles and pulses, as it has become a challenge for the government. He appreciated the announcement of drop in Capital Gains Tax from 15% to 12.5%, reduction of custom duty, additional custom duty and regulatory duty on import of raw materials for the textile sector, hot rolled coil steel sector, pharma sector (more than 350 APIs), footwear sector, cables and other 328 tariff lines. Nauman Kabir said that the government’s offer of a new uniform export facilitation scheme, exemption of federal excise duty from food and related consumable goods, cars of up to 850cc, juices and reduction of sales tax for cars up to 850cc are appreciable measures. He said that removal of withholding taxes from collection of tax on cash withdrawal and banking instruments, package for housing, SME support program and fixed tax scheme, Rs100 billion package for uplift of underdeveloped areas are good measures for the country. He said that export of IT sector included in zero-rating sector (offering tax credits, exemption of Sales tax) which is right decision while measures to control Circular Debt to be implemented in the next two years which include control on line losses, increasing renewable energy, restructure of private power debt etc is also good step. He said that turnover tax was reduced from 1.5% to 1.25% while government will offer interest free loans for up to Rs500,000 to the industry which will promote the industry.