Govt taking steps to encourage, facilitate Islamic banking: Dr. Aisha


Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Thursday informed the National Assembly that the government was taking concrete steps to encourage and facilitate Islamic banking system in the country.

Replying to queries during the question-hour at the National Assembly, she said that Islamic banking had been witnessing robust growth over the years on the back of State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) leading role in creating conducive environment for the expansion of Islamic banking industry.

The SBP, she said, was also using international forums effectively to promote Islamic banking system globally.

The minister said that the government was committed to fulfill its constitutional obligations as envisaged in Article 38 (f) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The minister said that the Advisory Council of the Council of Islamic Ideology had recommended gradual changes in the banking system to bring it in conformity with the injunctions of Islam.

Dr. Aisha said that Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) was making efforts to further simplify taxes system in the country. A total of 15% withholding tax was being collected from the subscribers by telecommunication companies on every recharge, she said, adding that Rs 13.04 withholding tax was being collected from the recharge of Rs 100, and remaining balance of 86.96 available to subscriber.

“On subsequent use, FED @19.5% ( =Rs. 16.52 to on the value of Rs. 86.96) of the usage, charge is leviable in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) on telecommunication services. While GST on telecommunication services was charged under provincial legislation on the area other than ICT,” she added.

The minister said that a major portion of the national economy was undocumented, that’s why the government had been making efforts for increasing tax net and a plan of action was ready in this regard.

She said various steps had already been taken to promote tax culture in the country, but suggestions and ideas from lawmakers were needed to further the tax net.

The minister said that there was no official data available on the total volume or value of transactions of crypto currency purchased by Pakistanis during the last three years.

Crypto currency was a new mechanism but the SBP was not regularizing it for the fact that allowing crypto business in Pakistan would bring no economic value or benefit to the country.

The minister of state said that government was encouraging Roshan Digital Account, adding that due to international inflation, Pakistan was facing domestic inflation.

She said that indirect taxes were also one of the reasons for inflation due to which direct taxes were imposed. It should be remembered that additional taxes were related to direct taxes, she said, adding that relief measures were being introduced, including reducing the prices of cooking oil and other commodities at Utility Stores. —APP


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