Traders irked over inclusion of edible oil in Sales Tax Act

Notification resulted in a 10% increase in the cost of importing edible oil in the country


Our Correspondent May 09, 2021
Haq also expressed concern at the immense level of double taxation in the system and called for major sales tax reforms. CREATIVE COMMONS

KARACHI:

The business community has expressed shock over inclusion of edible oil in section 8B of Sales Tax Act by the government and it has claimed that the move would result in a 10% increase in the cost of importing edible oils in the country

In a statement on Saturday, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Vice President Nasir Khan strongly condemned the inclusion of edible oil in section 8B of Sales Tax Act through Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) 1190(I)/2019 issued by the FBR.

“As a matter of principle, this SRO should have been restricted to commercial importers, however, edible oil manufacturers have also been included,” he said. “Due to this SRO, edible oil manufacturers have decreased their imports by a substantial proportion and majority of the oil imports have now been taken over by commercial importers.”

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Khan noted that the notification resulted in a 10% increase in the cost of importing edible oil in the country. While Pakistan issued this SRO, India and Bangladesh reduced the cost of importing edible oil by providing various relief measures to manufacturers, he said.

“Instead of announcing assistance worth billions of rupees for Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to sell subsidised edible oil, the federal government should facilitate edible oil manufacturers,” Khan said. “This way, traders would be able to slash edible oil price and provide greater relief to consumers compared to utility stores.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2021.

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