Lahore, 7th July: Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Zaidi has said that main theme of the Federal Budget 2019-20 is the development of industrial sector and to generate employment opportunities.
He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI Acting President Faheem-ur-Rehman Sehgal, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azher, Provincial Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal, former presidents Bashir A. Baksh, Mian Muhammad Ashraf, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mian Anjum Nisar, Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Ali Mian, Sohail Lashari, former Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, former Vice President Kashif Anwar and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.
Chairman FBR said that keeping in view the problems of business community regarding customs duty, valuation and clearance, ratio of Green Channel would be taken to 60%. He said that Sales Tax Registration process has been automated while certification for imports would also be automated soon as automation. “Automation in FBR was the need of the hour and the government wanted less human inference in the tax system by utilizing modern technology to strengthen its transparency and accountability system”, Shabbar Zaidi added.
He said that suggestions of fixed tax on the shops at under 240 sq. ft. area and tax on the basis of electricity bill from shops 240 to 1000 sq. ft are under consideration.
He said that bonds have already been issued to resolve the issue of refunds. He said that business community would be consulted on zero-rating if new system of refunds doesn’t work.
To a question, he said that FBR is ready to consider new legislation for Small & Medium Steel Melters. While answering another question, Chairman FBR said that condition of CNIC of the buyer is not applicable yet.
LCCI Acting President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that certain measures taken in the Federal Budget 2019-20 would prove to be counterproductive for the industrial sector which contributes around 70% to tax revenues and the economy as whole. The overall increase in taxes, particularly the import duties would enhance smuggling and also increase the share of black economy. He said that government should resolve these anomalies in consultation with stakeholders so that the country can get of this economic crunch.
Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that although the decision of exemption of custom duties on more than 1600 industrial inputs would help in making the local industry more competitive, however the increase in Additional Custom Duties (ACD) on 3000 items would impact vital industrial inputs and increase the cost of doing business of our industry. He recommend that this ACD should be taken back.