Acting President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Nasir Khan has shown his concern over ‘no response’ and low priority to business community’s issues which is affecting Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and business community partnership required for conducting smooth business.
He said that the issue of CNIC still not resolved despite COVID-19 which has reduced business activities.
Numerous laws and regulations have been imposed on the business sector, while at highest level meetings the FBR officials were unable to respond to their concern, Nasir Khan continued.
The officers should have authority to decide and resolve the issues being raised in the meetings. During the meeting with Chairman FBR the working of the FBR was discussed which was not up to mark.
There is no representation of this apex body of trade and industry in the decision making process along with the FBR, like formulations of the resolution committees and issuance of SROs.
During frequent visits of member IR (Operations) to the FPCCI head office wherein, a number of problems were put forward for decision, but instead there should be any relief to the trade bodies, no fruitful decision is made and not a single problem is resolved, Nasir Khan added.
Instead to increase the net of the taxpayer the FBR machinery is engaged to squeeze the traders which are already under tax net. The seriousness of the FBR towards tax collections may be noted from the fact that there is no representation of the FPCCI in various committees.
It seems that there is a wide communication gap between the apex body of trade and industry (FPCCI) and the FBR Headquarters and if the position is not improved then the net results in progress to resolve trade related issues will be zero, Nasir Khan continued.
While participating in the meeting Zakaria Usman, Convener, FPCCI Budget Advisory Council expressed concern that the FBR is lacking consistency in policies which change rapidly affecting the working of businessmen and the commodities are going costlier. The policy of FBR to squeeze the already registered taxpayers may be shifted to a mechanism to explore new taxpayers and avenues, he added.
He suggested a cascading system spreading on five steps which is more economical and tax oriented. Secondly the policy to issue SROs over the night may be stopped forthwith. Regarding valuation, he was of the view that the system of valuation prevailing worldwide on the basis of scan prices may be adopted immediately instead of issuing valuation rulings on the whims of valuation directorate which issue such rulings without taking the stakeholder on board.
He quoted the example of plastic scan where the valuation prices are issued by the plastic association and applicable evenly on all the importers.
Zakaria said the formation of trade zones will certainly be helpful extending the required benefits for the industries working in these zones. But is it sorry to say that the goods intended to be used in tax free zones are pushed in the tariff areas thus affecting the traders who are doing business in the tariff area after paying the statutory rate of customs duties and taxes.
We must explore the import substitute to boost the local. Further, he suggested that CNIC problem should be resolved on priority.
Nasir Khan shared with the Chairman the idea of one window operation that all the taxes are collected at the same place, including its adjudication, etc., so that the traders may not run from pillar to post to resolve them.
He said that the traders of Balochistan have problems with the intelligence on valuation issues.
The trade bodies can help to stop smuggling in the province. He pointed out that it takes months to dispose of DTRE applications.