‘Tax relief on essential items to facilitate common man’

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  • FBR official says tax exemptions on more than 1,650 raw materials and industrial inputs have been given to support local industries

ISLAMABAD: Envisaging the protection of common people, the government, through the Federal Budget 2019-20, has provided tax relief on various essential products, including medicines, food and beverages as well as their inputs, a senior official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said on Thursday.

Talking to APP, the official said that tax relief and exemptions have been provided on lifesaving medicines and medical equipment. “The government has exempted customs duty (CD) on 18 medical products and their inputs, health and medical units, medicines of rare diseases, mobile health units and free operation theatres,” the official added.

He said the duties on raw material for hemodialyzers, used by kidney patients, have been exempted in order to facilitate kidney patients.

In addition, the official said that tax relief has also been provided for home appliance and edibles.

“In order to tap the true potential of the tourism industry, the government has also given tax relaxation on various products used by the industry, as it decreased the duty on pre-fabricated structures used for building hotels from 11pc to 8pc,” he informed.

The official said the government has incentivised the local industry in order to ensure industrial growth and promotion of exports, adding that tax exemptions on more than 1,650 raw materials and industrial inputs have been given to support local industries.

On a query, he said the government has also reduced the duties on different sectors, including printing paper industry, wood and furniture sector, LED panel manufacturing, liquid food industry, fabric & textile machinery, home appliances and yarn industry.

However, he added that duties on luxurious and non-essential items have been enhanced as part of a strategy to discourage the imports of such products.

He said the government has introduced new tax slabs under which Rs15 billion tax relief would be provided on finished products, adding that this step would help promote local manufacturing.

“The government has also evolved a strategy to stop trade-based money laundering,” he concluded.

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