KCCI not to support budgetary measures if proposals not considered


KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has stressed that if Karachi Chamber’s Proposals for Federal Budget are not considered and included in the budget for 2015-16 and major issues are not resolved, they will not support the budgetary measures of the government and contest KCCI demands through all available forums.

According to a letter titled “UNDERPROTEST – BUDGET PROPOSALS 2015-16” issued to Federal Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, the Karachi Chamber has been regularly submitting its recommendations and proposals to the Ministry of Finance and FBR in the economic interest of Pakistan and to resolve the problems and issues faced by the trade and industry of Karachi which contributes over 65 percent of Tax Revenue.

“We regret that in the last two years, no consideration has been given to our budgetary proposals,” the letter said. On the contrary, sweeping discretionary powers have been inserted in the tax regime through the Finance Bills of 2013-14 and 2014-15, which the KCCI and other trade bodies had successfully resisted in the last over a decade. The powers thus acquired by FBR as well as RTO’s and field formations in last 2 budgets, have been blatantly misused against the already tax-paying business community as a tool for harassment and extortion which has taken the corruption to the highest level in history, it said.

KCCI noted that during aforementioned period, officials of FBR have totally ignored the issues and problems of business and industrial community and have not paid any attention to our grievances. Unjustified and unlawful demands and multiple audit notices have been issued to the compliant tax-payers, making it impossible for them to operate their businesses smoothly. The draconian laws have acted as deterrent to new tax-payers and prevented broadening of tax base.

KCCI further pointed out that taxpayers all over Pakistan have suffered from the harassment tactics and blackmailing at the hands of RTO’s, while Karachi based tax-payers have suffered the most because of their larger number and major share in tax-revenue.

KCCI letter, while particularly referring Section 25, Section 37, Section 37-A, Section 38, Section 40 and Section 40B of Sales Tax Act 1990 and Section 65A and Section 138/ 138A of Income Tax Ordinance 2001, demanded that these provisions of tax regime must be repealed immediately to provide relief to business community and restore their confidence and trust in the present government. At the same time, Audit Notices issued to persons in FTR be withdrawn and multiple audits be stopped.

In addition, the officials of FBR, RTOs, LTUs and field formation must be directed to change their approach and attitude towards the tax-payers and redress the issues and grievances communicated by their representative chambers and trade bodies, KCCI added.

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