FBR urged to re­duce sales tax rate

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Pres­i­dent of the La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce & In­dus­try Mon­day urged the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue (FBR) to re­duce the rate of Gen­eral Sales Tax to sin­gle digit as ex­ist­ing rate of GST is too high and obstructing the growth of trade and in­dus­try.

He was ad­dress­ing the del­e­ga­tions of Sha­ha­lam Mar­ket led by Chaudhry Wa­jid Ali. LCCI Vice Pres­i­dent Nasir Saeed also spoke on the oc­ca­sion.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent said that ex­ist­ing 17 per cent rate of Gen­eral Sales Tax is too high and not only one of the big­gest rea­sons of high cost of do­ing busi­ness but is also en­cour­ag­ing tax eva­sion. He said that Gen­eral Sales Tax rate should be brought down to a sin­gle digit.

Sheikh Muham­mad Ar­shad urged the bu­reau­cracy to fa­cil­i­tate the busi­ness com­mu­nity in­stead of look­ing for easy tar­gets, squeez­ing the ex­ist­ing tax­pay­ers and tak­ing il­log­i­cal mea­sures like at­tach­ing their busi­ness ac­counts, un­due no­tices and raids on busi­ness premises.

He said that busi­ness­men want to put in their share in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try pro­vided they are treated fairly. He said that huge rev­enue tar­get set for next fi­nan­cial year could be achieved only through re­solv­ing the is­sued be­ing faced by the ex­ist­ing tax­pay­ers.

The LCCI pres­i­dent in­formed the vis­it­ing del­e­ga­tions that the La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce & In­dus­try has formed the budget pro­pos­als af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with the other Cham­bers of Com­merce & In­dus­try of the coun­try.

"The LCCI in its budget pro­pos­als has de­manded of the gov­ern­ment re­solve the is­sues of In­come Tax, Sales Tax, Cus­toms Duty and Fed­eral Ex­cise duty etc at the ear­li­est", the LCCI pres­i­dent added.

He said that busi­ness com­mu­nity wants broad based re­forms in tax­a­tion sys­tem with con­sul­ta­tion of pri­vate sec­tor. He said that with­hold­ing tax regime needs to be re­views and with­hold­ing agents should be given cer­tain in­cen­tives.

He said that busi­ness com­mu­nity has se­ri­ous reser­va­tions with re­gard to cur­rent per­for­mance of FBR for dis­burs­ing re­fund cases of Sales Tax and In­come Tax. He said that the ex­porters are suf­fer­ing the most be­cause they are fac­ing se­ri­ous is­sues of short­age of work­ing cap­i­tal. He urged the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue that all the back­log of re­funds should be cleared within two months upon the fil­ing of re­turns. Sim­i­larly bank­ing bonds may be is­sued for the large amount of re­funds with­held since years.

He urged the Fed­eral Board of Rev­enue to se­lect the au­dit on the ba­sis of pa­ram­e­ters by FBR through ran­dom bal­lot­ing rather than al­low­ing the con­cerned com­mis­sion­ers to use their dis­cre­tionary pow­ers.

The LCCI Pres­i­dent said that fed­eral and pro­vin­cial sales tax au­thor­i­ties should agree on con­sti­tu­tion of fully em­pow­ered Na­tional Tax Com­mis­sion to bring in har­mony in the sales tax laws deal­ing with ser­vices. He said that sales tax on ad­vances is cre­at­ing un­nec­es­sary hard­ship and is­sues of un­nec­es­sary rec­on­cil­i­a­tion for reg­is­tered per­sons. It may be made ap­pli­ca­ble on ac­tual de­liv­ery of goods.

Chaudhry Wa­jid Ali and Khawaja Amir called to re­solve the is­sues of val­u­a­tion and smug­gling.

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