Ministries seriously considering Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry budget proposals: Haroon Akhter

Chambers of Commerce Press Release

Lahore, May 06, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Prime Ministers’ Advisor on Revenue Haroon Akhter Khan has said that the concerned ministries are seriously considering the LCCI budget proposals.

While talking to the LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad on phone, Prime Minister’s Advisors said that the economy is moving in right direction and this fact is being recognized by international donor and financial institutions.

Haroon Akhter said that business community is backbone of the economy and government is fighting hard to solve the issues of trade and industry at the earliest. He informed the LCCI president that government is making all out efforts for the cause of business community in the country.
He also lauded the LCCI role for supplementing the government efforts aimed at economic revival of the country.

The LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that the LCCI budget proposals for the financial year 2016-17 have been formed after taking feedback from the stakeholders.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have the potential to stimulate the local economy through increase in the demand of locally manufactured goods. Such increase in demand will not only allow the full utilization of existing manufacturing capacity but will also encourage the manufacturing to increase their capacity. This will generate much needed employment opportunity.

The LCCI President said that elimination of harmful taxation that hinders business and trade in the country is need of the hour. He said that as an essential element of good governance, Pakistan lacks culture of tax compliance. There is, therefore, an urgent need to reform the taxation system by engaging all the stakeholders. He said that withholding tax should be reviewed and tax credit should be given to withholding agents performing state duties. This tax credit should vary in slab based on withholding tax deducted and deposited by withholding agents.

“There is need to develop a comprehensive, fair and transparent system for audit. He said that selection of audit should be made on the basis of parameters by FBR through random balloting. The powers of Commissioner for selection of audit should be withdrawn by amending section 177. He should, however, conduct audit after the selection by FBR. Moreover, capacity of the tax officials/auditors should be developed through training etc”, the LCCI President added.

He said that all the backlog of refunds should be cleared within two months of the filing of return. This one time clearance would clear the backlog. He said that banking bonds may be issued for large amount of refunds withheld since years. He said that income and sales tax refunds should be issued without application within 90 days of their becoming due.

Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that bank accounts’ attachment is creating harassment amongst the business community. He said that the recovery should be after the decision of the Tribunal and not before that. Banks accounts should not be attached without prior notice to the taxpayer and after seeking approval in writing of Commissioner in the light of reply submitted by the taxpayer. He aid that there are serious anomalies in sales tax laws which need to be addressed. He also called to harmonize Federal and Provincial Tax Regime to counter double taxation and to stop harassment by the Provincial Tax Authorities.

The LCCI President said that customs duty and taxes on import of raw materials should be zero rated to bring down the industrial input cost. He said that the factors should be tackled on priority which are coming in the way of ease of doing business. He also stressed the need for streamlining/standardization of import/exports process flows for trading across the borders.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854