Current Affairs

Business community demands further reduction in interest rate.

Rawalpindi: Business community has proposed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that the sales tax rate, which is currently 17 percent, be dropped to five per cent. The interest rate should be further reduced to (FIVE OR FOUR) percent. All types of income should be taxed and FBR should focus on new taxpayers rather than tax revenue to avoid burden on existing taxpayers for revenue collection. Tax audits should be abolished owing to the present Covid-19 situation.

These demands were unanimously adopted at the Twelfth all Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference, organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) via video link,  with a participation of more than 47 presidents.

It was also proposed that the exemption from section 111 (source of investment) of the Income Tax Ordinance should be extended to all sectors of the economy in coming budget (2020-21) and the source of income should not be asked for investment in any sector.

Section 165 (A) should be abolished (Withdrawing powers to probe into banking transactions, it will increase harassment and obstacle to documentation.)

A special Covid 19 concession package should also be announced for women being the representatives of half the population, the declaration demands.

RCCI president, Saboor Malik in his opening remarks said, that “The situation is extraordinary at the moment and extraordinary steps will have to be taken. He said that the definition of cottage industry needs to be revised and it should be exempted from sales tax.

Maximum benefit of reduction in global oil prices should be passed on to consumers in for of reduced petroleum product prices and electricity tariffs.

The declaration emphasized that healthcare and education should also be given industry status. Tax refunds should be released to meet the liquidity crises. The tourism sector has been severely affected and a package should be announced for this sector too. Corporate tax rate should be reduced to 20%. Eliminate port charges. Focus on agro-based industries and form a special task force for food security. Cotton production has been affected. A new policy should be formulated regarding seed procurement. Receipts for EOBI and social security should also be deffered. Take steps to prevent smuggling.

Furthermore, Start-up businesses should be given immunity of 3 years from all sort of taxes so that they can flourish, he demanded.

The Chamber has been organizing the conference  every year. However, due to the Corona virus and the lockdown, the conference was held via video link, with more than 47 presidents from across the country attending via video link. Group leader Sohail Altaf, former presidents, senior vice president Nosherwan Khalil Khan, vice president Muhammad Hamza Sarosh and executive members were also present on the occasion.

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