Coca Cola requests FBR to reduce FED on beverages to 16% in FY24 budget

ISLAMABAD: Coca Cola beverages has asked the Federal Board of Revenue to reduce Federal Excise Duty (FED) on beverages from 20% to 16% in the next year’s budget.

Representatives of Coca Cola beverages met with the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, under the chair of  Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, on Tuesday. The representatives appraised that Pakistan is the second country after Saudi Arabia where beverages are highly charged and the recent increase in FED has reduced sales by around 25%. On these grounds, it was requested that FED on beverages should be reduced to 16% from 20% in next year’s budget.

Discussing the pre-budget proposals, representatives of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries deplored that the 3% value-added tax being charged on raw materials at import stage is unjustifiable and should be revisited.

They also apprised that a major bulk of buyers in the country are unregistered and that the provision of CNIC on supplies to unregistered persons has become a major hurdle in business transactions.

Above all, 3% further tax is being imposed on the registered supplier on the provision of buyer CNIC, they added.

They asserted that the 3% further tax on the registered sellers must be revoked, since it is not based on rationale.

President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari mentioned that the industries located in the erstwhile FATA are currently exempt from sales tax and the concession is putting steel industries, located in settled areas, at a great disadvantage.

He suggested that an equitable environment should be created by withdrawing the said exemption so that the industries on both sides could flourish at the same pace.

Moreover, Dr. Khurram Tariq, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries, maintained that small businesses, having turnover of around 150 million rupees, should be exempted from computerized balloting audit for sales tax, and an audit of said businesses should be completed within six months instead of preceding for five years.

He apprised that these measures will help small businesses to flourish and eventually enhance their productive contributions.

Ehsan Malik, CEO Pakistan Business Council, apprised that 100 of the most prominent businesses of the country are generating 40% export, in addition to its 20% share in GDP and approximately 56% taxes have been collected from it.

He suggested that an equitable tax regime should be initiated, besides providing ease of doing business and reducing the manufacturing cost.

Representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries unanimously underscored the need of broadening the tax base of the country and demanded that super tax ranging from one to ten percent on different affluent individuals and companies should be withdrawn. They also highlighted the need to revisit the Pak-Afghan transit.

Member FBR Afaq Ahmad Qureshi apprised that the recommendations of all stakeholders have been received and FBR has initiated deliberations on the said proposals and will inform the standing committee accordingly.

The meeting was attended by Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Dilawar Khan, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Mohsin Aziz (via phone call),State Minister for Finance, as well as, Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad,Special Secretary Finance Division Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, CEO PBC Ehsan Malik. Presidents of various chambers of commerce and industries were also in attendance.


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