LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) must relax condition of disclosing CNIC for sale to unregistered persons for at least one year as business activities are sure to come to a standstill due to condition of disclosing CNIC for sales to unregistered persons. A far reaching awareness campaign should be launched to impart and train the stakeholders as it is next to impossible to comprehend the new regime for those who have been habitual to a traditional method for the many decades.
These views were expressed by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal while talking to Customs Today here the other day.
Saigal who is known for his integrity, totality and professionalism said that that under the amendment introduced by the government in the Sales Tax Act, sellers are required to include the buyer’s CNIC number on the sales tax invoices and condition of disclosing CNIC for sale to unregistered person would result in a potential misuse of CNICs which can be used in fraudulent transactions of billions of rupees as reported from time to time.
The buyers will also prefer purchases from unregistered sellers, he said adding that there is no logic that trader will charge sales tax at retail end.
The LCCI office-bearers said and feared that trading activities would be stopped if condition of disclosing CNIC for sale to unregistered person is not delayed for at least one year. Talking about Custom Duties (CD) on intermediary products he said that the duty should be reduced so that the industry is able to import quality materials, components and machinery from the rest of the world at the same duty rate at which it imported through different FTAs. Refund non-payments according to him are eating up liquidity from the markets while payment through promissory notes should also be extended to all sectors including five zero rated sectors and refunds should be issued automatically without application, or pre-audit, within 60 days as per rules.
Upon policy rate he was of the view that reduction in interest rates is inevitable as high rates have made borrowing expensive for private sector and discouraged investment.
He underscored the need for ease in taxation system, reduction in frequency of taxes and a business friendly mechanism for payments. The measures are much needed to extend relieve to the business community, the LCCI Vice President believed, adding that taxes are a must to run the affairs of the government but these should be imposed according to the ground realities.
“All tax payments should be accepted through credit card, debit card, direct debit or using internet/mobile banking, ” he said recommending that refunds ranging from 10 million to 50 million rupees should be instantly released while all the backlog of refunds should be cleared within two months upon the filing of returns. Electronic filing and online payment should be made mandatory for all departments and risk-management system should be improved to reduce the number of physical audits, Saigal, said addin that implementation of these measures by the government will not only reduce the burden on existing taxpayers but will also encourage new taxpayers to come into the tax net besides improving Pakistan’s international ranking in paying taxes.