Govt urged to withdraw amendments in tax introduced through Ordinance

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STAFF REPORTER
 ISLAMABAD

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to withdraw amendments in tax introduced through Ordinance to meet the conditions of IMF as it would prove a death blow for businesses & investment and cause collapse of the overall economy.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President ICCI said that the amendments in tax laws envisaged withdrawal of tax exemptions of Rs.140 billion from various sectors besides imposition of fine of Rs.5000 on shop owners for not displaying NTN or Business Cards and another fine of Rs.5000 for not filing of tax returns or wealth statements.

He said that these amendments have created a lot of concerns in the business community as they would give more powers to FBR officers and create an environment of harassment for the business community.

He said that at the one hand, the Prime Minister was focusing on elimination of direct interaction between taxpayers and tax collectors through promotion of automation in FBR systems, but on the other hand, bureaucracy was introducing amendments in tax laws that would thwart the vision and intentions of the PM for policy reforms in FBR.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan further said that the Prime Minister had announced an attractive package for the construction industry due to which mega construction projects have started across the country.

However, now the government has unilaterally registered all tax returns-filing real estate dealers as Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBPs) under pressure from FATF requirements and directed them to provide full details of their clients and property transactions by completing a four-page questionnaire within 7- days, otherwise, face action.

He said that this move would discourage new investment in the construction sector and kill the construction package of the Prime Minister.

Therefore, he urged that such anti-business and anti-investment measures should be withdrawn to save the economy from plunging into deep troubles.

ICCI President said that the government was preparing to put an additional burden of more than Rs700 billion on the power consumers by granting more autonomy to NEPRA.

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