LAHORE - Following coun-trywide pressure by the business community, the Ministry of Finance on Friday decided to withdraw all the irritant and harsh clauses proposed in the final draft of the Finance Bill for the federal budget 2009-10. Sources revealed that Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin agreed to withdraw all the irritant and harsh clauses for the businessmen during a detailed meeting with a 26-member delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) held in the Finance Ministry on Friday. The Advisor agreed to withdraw the additional withholding tax on imports and said, now the businessmen would pay as per the previous rate of two per cent at import stage. Tarin has also agreed to reverse the decision to establish Directorate of Income Tax Intelligence and assured the businessmen that the Finance Bill would be amended, sources maintained. Advisor to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin chaired the meeting while Chairman FBR Sohail Ahmed, Federal Secretary Finance Salman Siddique, and Chairman Panel of Economists Dr Hafeez Pasha were also present on this occasion. The 26-member delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by its President Sultan Ali Chawla, and former President Iftikhar Ali Malik, and Mian M Idrees attended the meeting to resolve the issue of irritant clauses with the top brass of the Finance Ministry. According to the sources, Shaukat Tarin informed the delegation that the Ministry is withdrawing all irritant clauses including the proposal of provision of NTN or CNIC of a buyer on Sales Tax Invoice and withholding tax made in the Finance Bill. The issue of irritant clauses for the businessmen has been resolved amicably in the meeting. The Advisor to PM on Finance has fulfilled his commitment with the business community and we are very thankful to him, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Iftikhar Ali Malik informed this scribe, when contacted. The Advisor assured the delegation that the Ministry has finally decided to withdraw the clauses creating troubles for them and it would be tabled in House very soon for approval in this regard. The Advisor also informed that the mandatory condition of mentioning the NIC number of Sales Tax Invoice has also been reversed. He further said that the labour laws would be amended and all the irritants of the business community would be removed. Shaukat Tarin also assured the industrialists that the government is genuinely concerned about the declining industrial production in the country and would try its level best to remove all irritants that increase their cost of doing business. He further said that the government is committed to resolve genuine problems being faced by the business community and all the policies would be formed in consultation with the stakeholders. He said that the govt has declared next fiscal as the year of industrial revival therefore, the government would leave no stone unturned to provide business-friendly atmosphere and incentive to the industrial sector. The Advisor to PM also assured the delegation that the withholding tax would adjustable and government would fulfil all the reasonable and genuine demands of the businessmen to put the faltering economy back on track. It is to worth mentioning here that reacting to the Finance Bill, the businessmen from across Pakistan, had urged the government to immediately withdraw the proposal of provision of NTN or CNIC of a buyer on Sales Tax Invoice, as it was impracticable. They feared that the proposal for provision of NTN or CNIC of a buyer on Sales Tax Invoice is nothing but the FBR wanted to shift their responsibility to taxpayers, which is a sheer injustice. They were of the view that it was beyond their understanding that how any businessman could enter National Tax Number or CNIC on every invoice. However, the trade leaders termed the decision of the government regarding the withdrawal of irritant clauses as a pro-industry step, which would help improve the manufacturing sector, the largest tax-collection resource in the country. It is important to mention here that Shaukat Tarin had pledged the business community a couple of days ago at a post-budget seminar that the clauses creating troubles for them would be removed.