Traders from ex-FATA apprise Senate chairman of denial of tax exemption

Zubair Qureshi

Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has sought a report from the Ministry of Finance, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Law regarding denial of tax exemption to the traders and the investors of the ex-Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as is enshrined in the Finance Bill 2019.

They alleged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was violating the tax exemption law and was not ready to extend their legal right as given in the above-mentioned bill.

The delegation apprised the Chairman Senate that after the merger of FATA in 2018, tax exemption was given for 5 years, but on the contrary, the steel and Ghee industries have been deprived of this exemption in the Finance Bill 2019.

Chairman Senate assured the delegation of traders and investors that relevant ministers and representatives of the concerned ministries and departments would be called for a meeting to solve the issue.

The ex-FATA also drew the Senate Chairman’s attention to the FBR behavior and complained the board was neither facilitating nor giving concessions as per law. Due to such behavior of the board, more than 40 steel units and some units of Ghee industries were shut down leaving thousands unemployed, they further said.

Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjarani assured the delegation that their rights would never be compromised in any way and tax exemption for 5 years will be ensured accordingly and in line with Law.

The Chairman Senate has sought a report from the Ministry of Law, Finance, and the FBR in this regard and in the light of the demands of the trade delegation.

The Chairman Senate assured the delegation that within two days, Ministers and representatives of concerned Ministries and Institutions would be called for sorting out an appropriate solution to the prevailing issue.

He further added that the Prime Minister of Pakistan had also on several occasions directed the concerned ministries to provide concessions for the promotion of trade activities and development of industries in the ex-FATA to develop these areas at par with other parts of the country.

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