Double taxation, delay in refunds hurting economy: LCCI


LAHORE: LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed while addressing the delegation of Ferozepur Road Industrial Welfare Organization (FRWO) at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry, highlighted huge obstacles like double taxation and irking delay in refunds would not let economy of Pakistan grow therefore government must remove these hurdles for the sake of the business community.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed, Vice President Zeshan Khalil, FRWO Chairman Mian Abdul Razaq and LCCI Executive Committee Member Adeeb Iqbal Sheikh also spoke on the occasion.

The LCCI President said that businessmen want to act for economic boom provided they are given space for doing business smoothly. He urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to look into the matter of double taxation that is hitting the business community hard. He said that the major issues faced by the taxpayers at present due to non-collaborations between various taxation bodies (FBR, PRA, SRB, etc.) are jurisdiction disputes, double taxation between provinces, non-uniformity of provincial laws, structural issues in provincial revenue collection bodies, and overall lack of collaboration and harmonization.

The LCCI President suggested that in order to facilitate the taxpayers, the business environment and thereby the provincial economies there should be harmonization and collaboration between provincial revenue collection bodies (PRCB) as well as with the FBR and the standardisation of general tax treatments in the jurisdictions of various PRCB and FBR, including the standardisation of sales tax rates.

The LCCI President also urged the Federal Board of Revenue to expedite stuck-up sales tax and income refund claims as this issue has caused a shortage of capital to the industry. He said the Federal Board of Revenue is hampering the growth of the most productive sectors by denying the exporters and manufacturers their right of refund of sales tax and income tax.

The LCCI chief said that the delay in the release of huge funds that runs into billions has triggered serious liquidity crunch for the exporters and manufacturers that might lead to the closure of several industrial units.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Vice President Zeshan Khalil said that the process to get refunds is so lengthy and cumbersome that sometimes takes months for a manufacturer or an exporter to get his own money refunded. They said that the businessmen were bearing huge financial cost on their own hard earned stuck-up money; therefore, the FBR Chairman should look into the matter and ensure early release of sales tax and income tax refunds.

The LCCI office-bearers urged the federal and Punjab governments to reduce the undue interference of departments in the business activities to ensure business-friendly atmosphere. They said that it would not only encourage the local investors and help trust building between the businessmen and government departments but would also air a good message to the foreigners. He said that least interference of the government departments could be ensured through one window operation.

Earlier, head of the delegation Mian Abdul Razaq and Adeeb Iqbal Sheikh called for simplification of the taxation system. They said that a simplified and friendly taxation system would encourage businessmen to come into the tax net. They said that increase in the number of taxes always discouraged people to stay out of the tax net while a cut in tax rates always expands the tax base. They also called for the early release of refund claims.