Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) proposed that import of all raw materials should be allowed on duty free basis while higher duties should be imposed on luxury items. FPCCI also demanded to reduce utility rates by 25 percent for export-oriented industries, reduction in the burden of taxes to compensate increase in POL prices, reduction in cost of industrial raw materials for value added industries through zero-rating of all federal provincial taxes. Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers Association href=”http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/association-news/prgmea/” has presented its proposals for Federal Budget 2008 – 2009, when newly elected government is planning its future policies.According to PRGMA, the national economy and life of the common man is under extreme pressure due to high rate of inflation, especially food inflation, rising un-employment, energy shortage and long hours of load shedding, high cost of production, lack of industrialization.Mr Athar Ahmad asserted, “PRGMEA feels its responsibility in the process of country’s economic development, and is well aware about the fact that things have changed under ‘Globalization’ the responsibilities of private sector are completely changed and enhanced. Now, the social and economic development of a society is directly linked with the developmental activities of the private sector.“In order to compete in the world market, we have to provide raw materials to our major industries at competitive price, hence it is recommended that raw material not locally manufactured or produced be zero rated customs duty, Tax credit and fiscal benefits be offered to encourage those industries which provided import substitution and or help us to ease power crisis in the country.”PRGMEA have suggested lowering of sales tax on local manufacturing and imports to 10 percent instead of 15 percent. This proposal will not reduce the final revenue of sales tax as compared to last or current year, because prices of majority raw materials increased by more than 100 percent in last one yearThere was also a demand of 25 percent reduction in utility charges for export industries, duty free import of raw materials, allowing imports of machinery and raw materials from India through road and rail routes. The agriculture chamber of Sindh and other growers associations stressed that there is a vigorous need to develop agriculture for enhancing country’s exports as the manufacturing and textile industry has failed to take advantage of global opportunities.Source: Fibre2fashion