Businessmen community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tuesday called upon the federal government to announce a new fiscal relief package to revive terrorism-hit businesses and announce business-friendly policies to boost up economy of the province.

“The businesses and industries have been adversely affected in wake of deteriorating law and order and growing tendency of extortion in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The government needs to focus on terrorism-hit businesses and the province, which have been contributing their share in national economy,” says Fawad Ishaq, newly elected president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) while speaking at annual general body meeting of the Chamber here on Tuesday.

Senator Ilyas Bilour, leader of Businessmen Forum and renowned industrialist, who chaired the meeting, said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa business community is much resilient under the prevailing circumstances and is continuing to do businesses despite all odds and unfavorable conditions. He said the Businessmen Forum has made efforts for resolution of issues being faced by the community, particularly illegal Afghan SIMs, rebate and refunds issues and rent-exemption of Auqaf and other properties in the province. “We will continue efforts to avail a fresh financial package from the centre for terrorism-hit business community, says Bilour.

A large number of traders, industrialists, and importers and exporters also attended the general body meeting. KPCCI outgoing president Zahidullah Shinwari, Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, leading industrialists, Haji Mohammad Ishaq, Sharafat Ali Mubarak, along with leaders of trade bodies and unions were also present. 

KPCCI chief urged the government to extend relief to business community and take pragmatic steps for boarding of tax net, rather than increasing taxes on the existing registered taxpayers. “We are in favor of paying maximum taxes, and a new fiscal relief package is dire need of hour, while keeping in view unfavorable businesses conditions in the province,” he stressed.

Fawad Ishaq assured the policies would be devised with consultation of traders and industrialists and all issues would be resolved under a fast-track strategy. He accepted the job as president of KPCCI, which is challenging one.

Zahidullah Shinwari, the outgoing president of the chamber, said that most of issues have been resolved during his tenure, essentially tax rebates and refunds, which were being accumulated around Rs.4.7billion, out of which Rs3.3 billion have so far cleared.

Similarly, he maintained the Afghan SIMs roaming issue was also resolved after intervention of the Chamber, while ratio of kidnapping for ransom and extortion issue were also reduced to some extent in the province. He furthermore said the issues relating to turn-over on sale and income taxes and unregistered supply have been resolved during his tenure. He went on to say that policies and notifications were the major impediments in way of enhancing exports and trade volume with Afghanistan. He informed they had conducted successfully 11th Business Excellence Awards ceremony, through which the chamber generated Rs.7.2million against the total expenditure of Rs.2.4milllion of the event.

The KPCCI newly elected president vowed that he would utilize all resources and energy to resolve issues of the business community. He also counted out priorities and major targets for his tenure.

Earlier, Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour distributed souvenirs and shields among the outgoing cabinet of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and expressed the hope that the newly elected cabinet would deliver.