Cus­tom tar­iff mea­sures to help col­lect­ing Rs11b in FY17

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Se­nate Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Finance and Rev­enue on Monday was in­formed that the whole tar­iff cus­tom ex­er­cise by the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue (FBR) would help col­lec­tion of ad­di­tional Rs11 bil­lion in the na­tional ex­che­quer dur­ing Fis­cal Year 2016-17. Mem­ber In­land Rev­enue, FBR Rehmat­ul­lah Wazir in­formed the com­mit­tee that the cus­tom duty on im­port of 2300 items was pro­posed to be re­duced from 5 to 3 per cent while the duty on 900 items was pro­posed to be in­creased from 10 to 11 per­cent and on 500 other items, the cus­tom duty was pro­posed to be in­creased from ex­ist­ing 15 per cent to 16 per cent.

He said that the items, of which, the duty was be­ing re­duced were raw items like ma­chin­ery etc, whereas on fin­ished prod­ucts the cus­tom duty was be­ing in­creased which would help pro­tect­ing the lo­cal in­dus­try. The com­mit­tee was chaired by Se­na­tor Salim Mad­vi­wala which was at­tended by sen­a­tors Kamil Ali Agha, Saood Ma­jid, Mohsin Khan Leghari and Sar­dar Fateh Muham­mad Has­sani. Re­gard­ing the is­sue of pro­vin­cial sales tax, Chair­man Sindh Rev­enue Board pointed out that it was un­fair that the FBR was in­tro­duc­ing a new clause ac­cord­ing to which the pro­vin­cial tax pay­ers would be bound to first file their in­come tax re­turns in the FBR and then they would be al­lowed to file their sales tax re­turns.

He re­quested the com­mit­tee to rec­om­mend for omit­ting the clause as it was the en­croach­ment to the pro­vin­cial author­ity. Rehmat­ul­lah Wazir was of the view that this was an is­sue of non-tax fil­ers and the move was to force max­i­mum num­bers of peo­ple to come into the tax net so this mech­a­nism was in the na­tional in­ter­est. He in­sisted that the more peo­ple pay taxes the more rev­enue would be gen­er­ated for the prov­inces as un­der Na­tional Finance Com­mis­sion (NFC) Award, 57.5 per cent of the to­tal rev­enue goes to the prov­inces. Eco­nomic ex­pert Qaiser Ban­gali on the oc­ca­sion said that the FBR had other op­tions as well to force the in­di­vid­u­als to come into tax net like it even had the author­ity to ar­rest the tax evaders so it should omit this clause from the finance bill.

The com­mit­tee rec­om­mended that the mat­ter should be re­solved ad­min­is­tra­tively and not through finance bill. On the is­sue of Prop­erty eval­u­a­tion, the com­mit­tee was in­formed by the FBR that new roles were be­ing evolved for this pur­pose and a Malaysian com­pany was be­ing hired to eval­u­ate the prop­erty ac­cord­ing to the mar­ket value. Kamil Ali Agha, how­ever in­sisted that the ex­ist­ing mech­a­nism of prop­erty eval­u­a­tion should be main­tained and proper improvements should be brought in this mech­a­nism.—APP

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