ISLAMABAD: ICCI in a pre-budget consultative session on Saturday called upon the government to introduce single digit General Sales Tax in the next budget.
The session was organize to seek budget proposals from the local business community. President ICCI Ahmed Hassan Moughal presided over the session while Rafat Farid Senior Vice President ICCI, Naeem Siddiqui Chairman ICCI Tax Committee, and others were also present at the occasion. Addressing the session, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President ICCI said that the prevailing complicated and difficult tax system was a major hurdle in promoting tax culture and improving tax revenue. He urged that the government should develop a simplified tax system that should facilitate the growth of business activities and increasing tax revenue. He said that tax rates were quite high in Pakistan that should be rationalized that would help in broadening tax net.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President ICCI said that there were different tax rates at federation and provinces that were creating problems for the business community and emphasized that the government should introduce a uniform tax system across the country. He said the government should ensure better benefits, incentives, and respect for taxpayers that would help in expanding the tax base in the country. He said billions of rupees of taxpayers were stuck up with FBR and industry was facing liquidity issues and urged that government should evolve a streamlined refunds clearances process. Naeem Siddiqui, Chairman ICCI Tax Committee said that GST in Pakistan quite high that was a major hurdle in promoting business activities and emphasized that government should bring it down to single digit level in next budget.
He said the number of taxes should be minimized to ease the problems of taxpayers. He said Commissioner Appeal should be made independent from FBR to ensure justice in tax disputes. He said FBR should shun the practice of bank attachments without intimation to taxpayers as it was creating harassment in the business community. The participants said that FBR has increased proper value vide SRO-117(1)/2019 and government should reduce the tax on sale/purchase of property from 2% to 1% for non-filers and from 1% to 0.5% for filers. They said that SBP has banned advance payment for imports that was affecting business activities and stressed that this ban should be lifted forthwith. They were of the view that the government should impose a tax on profits and not on revenue of business as tax should be only on income. They said FBR should streamline its audit process and audit of a business should be after 3-5 years.
30 new development schemes in GB
ISLAMABAD: The Gilgit-Baltistan Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) has approved 30 new development schemes worth Rs 3.90 billion.
The decision in that regard was taken in the DDWP meeting held in Gilgit-Baltistan with Chief Secretary Muhammad Khurram Agha in the chair, Radio Pakistan reported on Saturday. The chief secretary, on the occasion, directed for timely completion of the schemes saying that the government will not compromise the quality of work and ensuring transparency in the projects.
Registered workers’ applications for Hajj!
ISLAMABAD: The Workers Welfare Fund (WWF), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development, has asked the registered workers of capital based factories/establishments to submit their applications for inclusion in Hajj draw by 28th February.
According to a WWF official, ten registered industrial workers from Islamabad would be chosen through balloting, whose hajj expenses would be borne by the Fund.
The minimum age of the applicants should be 40 years and must not be over 60 years. They should fulfill the criteria of a worker as defined by IRA-2017, and be registered with Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) or Employees Social Security Institutions (ESSI). They are required to submit an affidavit stating that they had not performed Hajj at least in last five year (from 2014-18).
The applying worker must submit a certificate from his respective institution that the institution is situated and registered within the limits of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). In the case of women worker, all expenditure and another arrangement of her accompanying Mehram will be paid by herself.
WWF would pay the expenses as per the announced Hajj Policy 2019, complete applications should be sent to Assistant Director (Welfare) WWF, Building No 2, Street no 39, Mauve Area, G-10/4, Islamabad.
In case a selected worker is failed to go to perform Haj, he/she will not be entitled to receive the money. His berth will be allotted to next waiting candidate to avail the free hajj facility. The decision of WWF will be final and cannot be challenged in any case.
EODB more important factor for economy!
LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder said on Saturday that ‘Ease of Doing Business’ was a more important factor than say for businesses growth and for a sustainable economy.
“It is a good omen that present regime is well aware of the importance of Ease of Doing Business and trying to change the scenario in this regard through economic reforms,” he observed while talking to a group of business leaders here. Almas Hyder said that importance of businesses could not be undermined for economic development as these provide jobs to the growing population, generate revenue for the government to run the affairs of state and attract foreign investment to the country which not only provides employment but also brings new technologies.
“Pakistan is at 136th place in the international index of ease of doing business while the ranking of a number of those countries is better than us who have fewer resources. Pakistan is at 130th position in starting a business, 166th in dealing with construction permits, 167th in getting electricity, 161 in registering property, 112th in getting credit, 26th in protecting minority investors, 173rd in paying taxes, 142nd in trading across borders, 156th enforcing contracts and at 53rd in resolving insolvency in the international indexes,” he maintained. Almas Hyder said that Pakistan had to take giant leaps towards improvement in these rankings, suggesting that a company office in Pakistan should be established for incorporation of new companies.
He added that an electronic One Window Operation at LDA (Lahore Development Authority) should be established and automation of construction permits should be completed at LDA including electronic submission of application.
Almas Hyder said that reduction in the number of taxes, change the mode of payments would help jack-up Pakistan’s international ranking in paying taxes. He also suggested that revenue (tax) collection should be separated from services as it would help the government to manage the affairs in a better manner. “Getting electricity is one of the major economic indicators and we have to make these better if we want to compete impressively with our competitors in the international market,” he opined. He said that registration of property should be easy for businessmen through modern technologies and one-window operation.