Govt urged to remove tax anomalies in SEZs

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has urged the government to remove tax anomalies in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which were being set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to attract local as well as foreign investments.

In a statement issued on Monday, ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said local and foreign investors have pinned lot of hopes on the SEZs, which were vital for growth acceleration and jobs creation.

He urged the government to take urgent measures to address the concerns of investors so as to make these investment projects successful.

“The SEZs were marketed as tax-free zones for 10 years for those investors who would start commercial production by June 2020. Now the government has reportedly applied 1.5pc turnover tax on sales in SEZs, which is in violation of the spirit of SEZs Act 2012,” he remarked.

The ICCI president said the SEZs were highly capital intensive due to which the investors needed 2-3 years to reach the breakeven point. “The imposition of 1.5pc turnover tax on their sales will act as a discouraging factor for potential investors and should be reviewed forthwith,” he added.

Moughal requested the government to thoroughly reconsider the pros and cons of this proposal and withdraw this tax in order to improve investor confidence.

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