KARACHI: Although the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) does not believe in strike/shutdown of business premises; however, it may take extreme action in case if it’s set of vital demands is not accepted before passing of the Finance Bill from the National Assembly”
This was stated by FPCCI President Zubair Tufail while addressing a press conference at Federation House, Karachi.
The FPCCI president elaborated that after a series of meetings and consultation with its member trade bodies throughout the country, the chamber had identified eleven harsh and irritant measures of the Finance Bill and proposals, already forwarded to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for their amicable resolution before it is passed by the Parliament, likely on June 14, 2017.
The FPCCI president urged Dar to honour his promise of paying all pending Income Tax and Sales Tax Refunds and the Refund Payment Order (RPOs) issued till April 30, 2017 should be released / paid before August 14, 2017, as exporters were facing severe cash flow crunch due to stuck-up of their refund claims with the FBR which forced them to shut various production units.
The FPCCI president said one of the harsh measures announced in the budget was an increase in turnover tax. He informed that the rate of turnover tax was 0.5 per cent but the government gradually increased it to 1.25 per cent. The business community strongly reacted to this increase because this tax was paid by those units, which had already posted annual losses.
The FPCCI demanded 25 per cent reduction in the tariff of electricity and gas with an immediate effect. He lamented that the continuation of Super Tax on the corporate sector.
Tufail said that the business community also rejected two per cent further tax on sales to unregistered persons as it is a burden on registered persons because unregistered persons are not paying and registered persons spend billions of rupees on the purchase of flying invoices.
He disclosed that although the FBR chairman in a National Assembly body meeting had agreed that the present large spread of withholding tax between commercial and industrial importers of raw material would be narrowed in the Finance Bill; but, he did not keep his word.
The FPCCI president also said commercial importers should be exempted from Sales Tax and Income Tax audits, as they pay 17pc sales tax plus 3pc value addition tax and 6pc income tax in advance at a port stage.
A 10pc tax to be levied on undistributed after-tax profits must be withdrawn. It is also a unanimous demand of the FPCCI, Pakistan Business Council, OICCI and the American Business Council, he informed.