Pre-budget seminar: FBR wants tax levying powers with Parliament

Reports of increase in sales tax unfounded, says Member FBR.


Irshad Ansari May 29, 2013
Clarifying rumours circulating in the market, Khan said there was no suggestion of raising the rate of sales tax to 17% as the caretaker government had failed to issue any ordinance in this regard. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK

ISLAMABAD:


The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has proposed that the parliament be authorised to levy taxes and is planning on introducing a new system for sales tax registration.


This was revealed at the Express Forum, where representatives of the FBR and the business community called for an end to the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) culture.

Participants at the event criticised the amnesty scheme for money launderers and instead called for an investment scheme, with no questions asked about the source of investment.

Speaking on the occasion, FBR Member Strategic Planning and Reforms Nisar Muhammad Khan said that the bureau was focusing on the effective rate of tax rather than increasing the tax rate because without paying attention to effective rates, collection would remain low despite levying taxes as high as 25%.

Clarifying rumours circulating in the market, Khan said there was no suggestion of raising the rate of sales tax to 17% as the caretaker government had failed to issue any ordinance in this regard. Updating the business community on the board’s plans, Khan said that the FBR has suggested that the authority to impose any taxes should rest with the parliament.

FBR’s chief of Tax Policy Dr Muhammad Iqbal, said that the basic reason of the high corporate tax rate in Pakistan is the lack of individual tax collection. He said that the bureau was trying to remove bottlenecks and make the tax collection system business-friendly.

A former vice-president of the FPCCI Suhail Altaf said that the people in general and the business community in particular have associated many expectations with the coming government. He suggested that the PML-N government should give a business friendly budget while laying out its vision for the next five years.

Recognizing the challenge faced on electricity, head of the Pakistan Poultry Association Dr Hasan Sarosh Akram suggested that the subsidy on electricity should be reduced gradually, while encouraging wind and solar energy. Talking about his business, Sarosh said any new tax on poultry feed in the next budget will ruin the industry.

President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce Zafar Bakhtawri, head of the Forex Association Malik Zeeshan Bostan, General Secretary of the Tax Bar Association Sheikh Faraz Fazl, founder of the Chamber of Small Traders and Cottage Industry Jahangir Akhtar, President of the Jewellers Association Khawja Sohail Sadiq, General Secretary of the Peoples Traders Cell Naveed Kanwal, Director Islamabad Exchange Zahid Latif and President of the Anjuman-e-Tajran Rawalpindi Shaikh Siddique were some of the participants at the forum.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2013.

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