Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said the budget is balanced and it will support low and middle-income groups reducing their problems.

The budget is encouraging for the masses and the business community but discouraging the IMF as developmental spending has been increased by 40 percent, which will trigger growth and create employment opportunities.
Taxes have been reduced on manufacturing and financial services, the minimum wage has been increased by 20 percent while government servants will see a rise in salary by ten percent, he added.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the wage and salary raise will force the private sector to increase salaries which is a good omen.

The industrial sector will grow due to tax and Customs duty and it will trigger local manufacturing of automobile and mobile phones and increase investment in the stock market due to tax breaks, he observed.

Despite the agreement with the IMF, the tax target has been reduced by Rs134 billion while IMF was assured to keep subsidies up to Rs530 billion but Rs682 billion have been allocating for subsidies in which the power sector will eat up Rs 596 billion.

Agreement with the IMF has not been considered regarding industrial support package and zero-rated industrial rebate which will also support industrial expansion.
Last year, K-Electric was given a subsidy of Rs16 billion but it will get Rs78 billion as per the budget document.

However, he said that the government should take steps to arrest the circular debt, increasing due to relaxations.
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