SIALKOT: Dr. Sarfraz Bashir, President, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a press statement showed serious concern regarding notices issued by Regional Tax Office Sialkot to the exporters for deposit of Sales Tax as sales tax withholding agents under SRO 98, 897 determining purchases equivalent to 70 percent of the export value of exports. He said that issuance of notices was creating harassment and unrest amongst the exporters, who were already facing numerous challenges in terms of dearness of raw material and energy inputs.
He said that a joint meeting of various Trade Associations of Sialkot was held in Sialkot Chamber to consider situation arising out of department’s approach of considering purchases equivalent to 70% of the export value. He said that Chairmen/representatives of the Trade Associations had their opinions on the matter but they all criticized Department’s approach of targeting exporters of Sialkot as no such complaint was received from other tax jurisdictions including Karachi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad and others.
He said that all Trade Associations unanimously resolved that notices issued by Regional Tax Office Sialkot should be held in abeyance till consensus is reached amongst the exporters belonging to different parts of Pakistan, for which this Chamber is in contact with other Chambers and Trade Associations. He emphasized that Department should not take any adverse action until the issue is resolved as export sector would be severely affected if unfair decisions would be implemented without consultation.
He urged the government should immediately take action to control the situation as exporters are getting agitated on the policies prejudicial to the export sector and they are considering options of staging protests against anti-export actions of the Department although this Chamber is informing the authorities constantly that this would not be in the interest of the country at this time.