Senate body stresses on eliminating double taxation

Published: September 12, 2019
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Members call for focus on easing matters for investors, businessmen. PHOTO: REUTERS

Members call for focus on easing matters for investors, businessmen. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textiles has directed Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood to devise a mechanism aimed at eliminating double and triple taxation being charged on imports done by businesses.

Discussing the impact of infrastructure cess imposed by Sindh and Punjab government on importers/imports, the committee asked the Ministry of Commerce to discuss the matter in the cabinet and bring the issue to the notice of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi at the Parliament House on Wednesday.

Senator Syed Shibli Faraz proposed passing a resolution in the Senate and reiterated the need to remove double taxation and ensure a proper mechanism to deal with the issue.

He was of the view that the state ought to ease matters for investors and businesses instead of complicating them.

The committee discussed The Trade Organisations (Amendment) Bill, 2019 moved by Senator Naseebullah Bazai seeking amendment in Section 11(1) of the Trade Organisations Act, 2013 calling for an increase in tenure of FPCCI president from one year to three years.

Members of the committee, as well as representatives from different chambers, held the opinion that length of tenure should stay the same because presidents, who were committed, would serve as good in one year as they would in additional years.

Talking about the steps taken to diversify export markets, Dawood said, “Pakistan has exported tractors to Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique and a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Angola for tractors.”

“Orders of water dispensers and air conditioners are also being received from Europe.”

Meeting on SEZs

Separately, in a meeting with delegation of Bin Qasim Industrial Park and Korangi Creek Industrial Park, Dawood highlighted the tax incentives provided to Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Investors in the delegation called the meeting to discuss various issues pertaining to taxation anomalies regarding the SEZs.

“The incentives include one-time exemption from customs duties and taxes on import of plant and machinery into SEZs for installation in these zones,” he said. “Moreover, the government has also given tax holidays for 10 years to all enterprises which will commence commercial production by June 30, 2020, in SEZs.”

Dawood emphasised that beside tax incentives, the incumbent government has taken strategic decision to facilitate investors by providing state-of-the-art infrastructure in SEZs so they could contribute to the national economy by starting commercial production at the earliest.

During the meeting, investors raised issues relating to the timely issuance of tax exemption certificates from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which are causing inconvenience and delays in investment decisions by new investors.

In order to address this issue, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi apprised the participants that he would nominate a dedicated focal officer in FBR who would coordinate with investors to resolve any issue being faced in their investment ventures.

The adviser urged investors to invest in SEZs in the priority areas, which included textile, food processing, logistics, and automobiles in order to get high returns on their investment.

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