Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has lauded the government’s decision to withdraw the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) on commercial and cement sectors and bring it down from Rs.300/MMBTU to Rs.100 on power, Rs.150 on general industry and Rs.200 on captive power plants.
Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that all Chambers Presidents during Post-Budget Conference hosted by ICCI recently had called upon the government to withdraw GIDC as it would have highly adverse effects on industrial growth. He said it was encouraging that government has accorded due attention to their demand to ease the problems of industry.
He said all Presidents of Chambers of Commerce & Industry from across the country were also unanimous during said Conference that best course of action for the government to improve the tax revenue is to expand the tax net, reduce tax rates and evolve a fair and progressive tax regime. He said the decision to rationalize the GIDC would prove to be a right step in that direction.
Appreciating the withdrawal of additional tax on cement, Shaban Khalid said government should also seriously consider withdrawal of Sec-40B of Sales Tax Act which authorizes the FBR officers to monitor production, sales of taxable goods and the stocks position at business premises without obtaining any warrants from Magistrate.
He expressed concerns that Sec-40-B will lead to misuse of powers and create undue harassment in the business community. He stressed that instead of giving undue powers to its officers, FBR should adopt normal mechanism if it realizes that proper tax is not being paid by any registered person.
ICCI President said that business community is not against tax payment, but it wants a transparent and equitable tax system.
He said government should take measures to improve direct taxation because more than 60 percent tax revenue is collected through indirect taxes including sales tax, FED and customs duties etc., which is regressive in nature and puts more burden on the common man as well as hurts the business activities.
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