FAISALABAD. Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) will compile comprehensive budget proposals in addition to suggesting ways and means to expand much needed tax net in Pakistan, said Mr. Shabbir Hussain Chawla President FCCI.
He was chairing a special session of Tax Committee of FCCI here today to finalize the draft of budget proposals for Federal Budget2018-19. During this meeting Chairman Tax Committee Mr. Hamad Masood FCA gave a detailed presentation on budget proposals while it was also attended by elected office bearers of different trade bodies.
Mr. .Shabbir Hussain Chawla said that these proposals coupled with suggestions provided by various trade associations representing different sectors would be finalized within next couple of days. He told that these budget proposals will be presented to Rana Afzal State Minister for Finance in a special function to be arranged next week.
Appreciating the efforts of Mr. Hamad Masood, he requested him to prepare a separate executive summary which could give an overview of these proposals. He also directed R&D cell of FCCI to complete the budget proposal as soon as possible. He said that the budget proposals should also inculcate the suggestions provided by different sectors of economy. He said that special attention should also be given to expand the tax net so that the trend to add burden on existing tax payers should be blocked once for all.
Earlier Mr. Hamad Masood gave a detailed presentation on Income Tax, Custom, Sales Tax, Withholding Tax and other taxes related to Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA). He demanded that unlimited discretionary powers of tax collectors should be trimmed; adding that he has demanded reduction in minimum tax from 1 to 0.5% but the government has increased it up to 1.25%. Regarding Alternate Dispute Resolution, he said that dispute resolution committees have been constituted but these should be reactivated to give true results. He also expressed concern over the most ticklish issue of refund and said that the period for the payment of refund claims has been fixed but there is no time limit for the verification of concerned documents and under its garb the payment of refund claims is delayed. He said that government should fix time limit for the verification of documents for the payment of refund cases within the stipulated time frame. He told that at FBR level, cases are particularly selected for audit on parametric basis but there is no transparent mechanism at commissioner level. Hence there should also be a well-defined procedure for the selected of audit cases.
Regarding sales tax, he said that rate of 17% sales tax is on higher side. “It should be reduced to 12.5 and then gradually brought down to 10%”, he added. Similarly the refund should be paid on “first come first basis”. Hamid Masood told that decision regarding tax amnesty on foreign assets has almost been decided. “We have presented a proposal that same facility should also be given on the local assets”, he added. He also stressed the need to rationalize gas tariff across the country, as it was creating disparity among the gas consumers of Punjab and Sindh.
About PRA, he said that its taxes are tantamount to double taxation. Moreover, it has not yet been decided that at which stage the tax on services would be charged as an activity is started in one province and is terminated in other province. But the provincial revenue authorities of both provinces are demanding services tax which has over burdened the businessmen. He said that the rate of PRA taxes is 16% in Punjab which is also on higher side as compared to other provinces. He said that it should be brought down in the coming provincial budget in addition to harmonizing it with other provinces. He further said that PRA has failed to register the transporters and civil contractors. Similarly there was dire need of “splitting laws” as PRA is demanding 100% tax on 80% material and 20% services which is not justified.
During question answer session Senior Vice President Sheikh Farooq Yusuf, Former President Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid, Engineer Ahmed Hassan, Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz, Muzammil Sultan, Mian Atta ullah, Talib Hussain Rana, Habib Ajmal , Farooq Allah Wallah and Sana Ullah gave different tax proposals relating to different sectors.
In the end former president Engineer Rizwan Ashraf offered vote of thanks to the Tax Committee of FCCI.