• News
  • June, 4 2023

PHA demands relief in upcoming Budget 2023-24

Hotel industry earns foreign exchange in all circumstances and it needs special treatment, say Main Akram Farid, Senior Vice Chairman, Pakistan Hotels Association ISLAMABAD : June 04,2023: The delegation led by Pakistan Hotels Association’s Senior Vice Chairman, Mian Akram Farid, met with Minister of Finance and Revenue Mr. Ishaq Dar, Adviser on Revenue Mr. Tariq Pasha, Special Assistant on Finance Mr. Tariq Bajwa, and Chairman FBR Mr. Asim Ahmed. and presented their budget proposals on behalf of Pakistan Hotels Association. Mian Akram Farid said that the Hotel industry has been badly affected due to the corona epidemic, and during the corona epidemic, the hotels in Islamabad and Karachi kept the people coming from foreign countries free of charge in Quarantine, but the government did not allow this hotel. No relief has been given to the industry. Due to the absence of a National Tourism Policy and a consistent policy framework from the Government for the Hotel Industry, no new major hotel chain has entered Pakistan since the 1990s. By solving the problems faced by this industry, it can earn a lot of revenue – this industry is an important source of national revenue. In Pakistan, 0.5 to 6 million people are associated with the hotel industry and the employment of lakhs of people is dependent on this industry. He said that due to credit sale, hotel owners are paying sales tax and bed tax, bed tax, which was very low earlier, and now is not in any province except capital Territory, Balochistan and KP, it is in Islamabad and In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, it has increased to 50%. The government should immediately abolish bed tax in federal/provincial scope. In order for the industry to survive, as hotel customers are shifting to flats and guest houses due to the 21 percent interest rate, he said the government should consider reducing the federal and provincial sales tax on hotels to a maximum of 10 percent. do Or at least by amending the relevant sales tax laws to all acceptable tax rates, the government should reconsider the abolition of import duties/regulatory duties on import of machinery and other goods for the hotel industry, which causes high cost. The cost of doing business has increased and the clearance of goods is delayed, the current market land prices have also increased, and there are many other taxes and levies on the comprehensive hotel industry. They invest in the acquisition of land for hotels, so land should be provided to the hotel industry at the government rates, he said that the government should take steps on this, and the interest rate should be reconsidered in the future monetary policy. Electricity and gas. The current tariff is one of the biggest problems to control the cost of production/operation of the industry, reducing costs especially electricity and gas prices for the tourism industry. There are many restrictions/complications while making remittances, State Bank should relax them, otherwise foreign professionals, technicians, and other consultants will avoid providing services in Pakistan for new projects. State Bank of Pakistan needs to facilitate this, Mian Akram Farid added that there should be only one annual budget during the financial year and no mini-budget/revision, which would shake the confidence of investors. In addition, there is discontinuity in government policies. The Finance Minister assured the delegation that the government values the services of the hotel industry in the country’s economy. Steps are being taken for this. He said that the proposals presented by the business community are always taken very seriously during the preparation of the federal budget and steps are being taken to present a business-friendly budget. Along with the Finance Minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Special Assistant for Finance Tariq Bajwa, Chairman of Reforms and Resource Mobilization Commission Ashfaq Tola, Chairman FBR Asim Ahmed and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue Division were also present. PAKISTAN HOTELS ASSOCIATION