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Shaukat Tarin says terms ‘non-filer‘, ‘under-filer’ in new tax laws under consideration for review

In this handout picture released by Pakistan´s National Assembly on June 11, 2021, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen presents the annual fiscal budget at the National Assembly in Islamabad. — AFP/File
In this handout picture released by Pakistan´s National Assembly on June 11, 2021, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen presents the annual fiscal budget at the National Assembly in Islamabad. — AFP/File
  • Finance minister says govt will review concerns expressed over Amendment in Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2021.
  • Hammad Azhar agrees to supply RLNG at $6.5 per MMBTU to export-oriented industries of Sindh.
  • “Waiver of duty on yarn imports will be considered; DLTL to continue at present or higher rates,” says PM aide Razaq Dawood.

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Saturday assured the business community that his ministry would review the concerns expressed over an amendment in tax laws through Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2021.

He said that the ministry will look into the possibility of re-examining the terms “non-filer” and “under-filer” in consultation with stakeholders, whereas in the meantime, no one will suffer as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will not take action directly.

Speaking to a delegation of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Tarin said: “The FBR will share relevant data with chambers of commerce and also upload the same on its website.”

“The government intends to take help of artificial intelligence and assessment will be done through a third party source while an appropriate time of 90 days will be provided to non-taxpayers for settlement,” he added.

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Ashfaq Ahmed and other senior officials of Finance Ministry and FBR also accompanied Shaukat Tarin at the meeting.

KCCI’s delegation, which was led by Businessmen Group Chairman & former president KCCI Zubair Motiwala, comprised of Vice Chairmen BMG Haroon Farooki and Jawed Bilwani, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil and President KCCI Muhammad Idrees.

Referring to Businessmen Group Chairman Zubair Motiwala’s remarks about discrimination with export-oriented industries of Sindh with regard to supply of RLNG at $6.5 per MMBTU, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar agreed to supply RLNG at $6.5 per MMBTU to export-oriented industries of Sindh.

“In this regard, the Ministry of Finance will sanction a subsidy and a relevant notification will also be issued,” he announced.

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Azhar stated that the Ministry of Energy will also convene a meeting to discuss KCCI’s concerns over the gas crisis feared in winter season so that they could explore ways and means for smooth supply of gas to industries and consumers of Sui Sourthern Gas Company.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said that they were considering a waiver of duty on import of cotton yarn.

During the meeting, it was also concurred that KCCI’s proposal to reduce concessional rate of 0.1% to 0.01% on traders and brokers of cotton yarn under SRO.333 (I) 2001 dated 02.05.2011 has been taken into consideration in the larger interest of value-added exports.

Dawood, while appreciating KCCI’s idea of giving an industry status to “Warehousing/Cold Chain/Cold Storage”, said that the government will look into the matter.

He reiterated that Drawback on Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) will either continue with the same rate or the government may increase the rate, whereas old income tax claims will also be refunded at the earliest.

FBR Chairman Dr Ashfaq Ahmed assured the businessmen that the government will review the matter pertaining to CNIC requirement and 3% tax, which KCCI believes should not be mandatory but optional, as 3% tax on sales to unregistered persons was already being collected hence, there was no need for demanding CNIC.

He also promised to hold a Zoom meeting within the next week to discuss the progress on various taxation issues.

In response to problems being faced because of the condition to put invoices and packing lists inside imported containers or consignments, the lawmakers assured the businessmen they will review KCCI’s proposal that the bank should only receive documents when the invoice and packing list is attached and the consignment should be released with the provision of the invoice and packing list from Customs.

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