Govt amends tax laws to promote trade activities at Gwadar port


ISLAMABAD: In a bid to promote trade activities at Gwadar port, the government, through a presidential ordinance, has granted tax benefits to Chinese and other foreign firms by introducing certain amendments in the tax laws, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Prior to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s scheduled visit to China, the federal government has granted further tax exemptions which in result will promote trade and business activities at Gwadar port. The introduction of the presidential ordinance titled ‘Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019’ is expected to attract Chinese and other foreign investors to the Gwadar port.

The Ministry of law and Justice on Monday published Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, for general information, which was promulgated on Sunday by the President Dr Arif Alvi.

According to an available copy of the presidential ordinance, “The Senate and National Assembly are not in session and the President of Pakistan is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.”

So far, amendments in the Customs Act, 1969, Sales Tax Act, 1990, and Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 (XLIX of 2001) have been made through Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.

It is pertinent to mention that with the publication of the presidential ordinance, Chinese and other firms have been given exemption of sales tax and income tax for their investment on Gwadar port and Gwadar free zone.

Similarly, customs duty exemption for import of oil for ships and terminal has been granted for 40 years through the ordinance. Moreover, income tax exemption has been granted for Gwadar Free Zone for a period of 23 years.