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Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Ishaq Dar Fri­day as­sured the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Fed­er­a­tion of Pak­istan Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (FPCCI) that their fears, ap­pre­hen­sions and mis­un­der­stand­ings will be ad­dressed ap­pro­pri­ately.

He was talk­ing to Pres­i­dent FPCCI Mian Idrees ac­com­pa­nied by for­mer Pres­i­dent, FPCCI, Zubair Tu­fail who called on him here, said a state­ment is­sued by the Min­istry of Fi­nance.

They dis­cussed the is­sue of with­hold­ing tax on bank­ing trans­ac­tions with the min­is­ter in de­tail and in­formed about meet­ings with traders and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous busi­ness spheres to as­cer­tain their stand­point and ap­pre­hen­sions with re­gard to the with­hold­ing tax.

The min­is­ter re­it­er­ated that the levy of with­hold­ing tax was only ap­pli­ca­ble to the non-fil­ers and the busi­ness com­mu­nity should have a clear un­der­stand­ing of this fact.

The fil­ers, whether their in­come was in tax­able limit or not, were all ex­empted from pay­ing this tax. "So they had noth­ing to fear from the im­po­si­tion of with­hold­ing tax," he added. He said that this was a golden op­por­tu­nity for the traders to file their re­turns of in­come with the tax author­i­ties. On be­com­ing fil­ers they would au­to­mat­i­cally avail fa­cil­ity of ex­emp­tion from with­hold­ing tax on bank­ing trans­ac­tions.

Ishaq Dar said that FBR was pur­su­ing busi­ness friendly poli­cies and would welcome new en­trants, broad­en­ing the tax net. He added traders should com­pletely re­move any doubts from their minds that they would be sub­jected to per­se­cu­tion in fu­ture.

The min­is­ter said it was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the cit­i­zens to ful­fill their obli­ga­tion to­wards strength­en­ing of na­tional econ­omy and the busi­ness com­mu­nity keep­ing in view this spirit, should file their re­turns. He said that it had come to his no­tice that in some in­stances banks had de­ducted with­hold­ing tax on bank­ing trans­ac­tions of fil­ers. He added that SBP had been asked to in­struct banks not to deduct with­hold­ing tax from bank­ing trans­ac­tions of fil­ers and re­verse the en­tries where this tax had been de­ducted er­ro­neously.

The min­is­ter said there was no ex­cuse for hold­ing strikes and harm­ing the econ­omy. "Pak­istan is mov­ing to­wards growth and de­vel­op­ment and we are all re­spon­si­ble to con­trib­ute our share in this process," he added.

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