The Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has welcomed the National Budget for the financial year 2024-25 and emphasized on tax reforms and digital transformation of NBR.

“We appreciate the government’s efforts in developing a comprehensive fiscal plan that addresses key economic challenges while promoting an enabling environment for business growth,” FICCI President Javed Akhtar said in a statement.

He said that with a strong focus on controlling inflation, reducing aggregate demand and promoting the supply side of the market, this budget lays a strong foundation for the stability of the economy.

The budget outlines a number of measures to control inflation and stabilize the economy, including tightening monetary policy by raising interest rates to 8.5 percent. The Standing Lending Facility (SLF) and Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rates have been fixed at 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively, to reduce money supply and encourage savings, Javed said in the statement.

Additionally, substantial investment is aimed at increasing agricultural output by 20 percent and industrial output by 15 percent through technological advancements and infrastructure improvements. He said that this is expected to balance supply and demand, thereby stabilizing the economy.

The Chamber appreciates the following proposals made in the proposed budget. However, “we believe there are some issues that should be addressed.”

A prominent feature of this budget is its progressive business-friendly approach, which focuses on reducing costs for consumers. Emphasis on a predictable tax system is appreciated, meeting long-standing demands.

The introduction of a prospective corporate tax rate enables accurate tax planning for businesses. The proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate for unlisted companies from 27.5 percent to 25 percent, subject to cash transaction conditions, is laudable. The proposed reduction in tax rates is expected to encourage private investment.

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