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PESHAWAR: The business community here on Wednesday demanded of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the tax amnesty scheme in the country till September this year.

The demand was made by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Zahidullah Shinwari during a visit of FBR chairman Tariq Mehmood Pasha and their meeting at the Chamber’s House here.

The United Business Group’s leader Senator Ilyas Bilour, member FBR Dr Iqbal, chief commissioner Regional Tax Office Mir Badshah, SCCI senior vice-president Mohammad Naeem Butt, former presidents and a number of industrialists were also present at the meeting.

The SCCI chief demanded that the tax amnesty scheme should be declared as last one and non-taxpayers discouraged to lower the burden on taxpayers and enhance the tax base.

He said that action should be taken against people avoiding taking benefit from the amnesty scheme.

Mr Shinwari said that it should be ensured that there would be no overriding effects as well as no action taken against people who had declared their assets under the anti-money laundering Act.

He said that the country’s trade deficit stood at $35 billion, adding it needed foreign exchange. Mr Shinwari expressed his concern over collection of regulatory duties at Torkham border despite withdrawal of notification regarding the duties on imported goods, and called for taking action in this regard. He demanded removal of 2 per cent additional customs duty on imports.

The chamber president called for expediting the refund process and removal of impediments in issuance of DTRE licence. He also called for withdrawal of withholding tax on filers.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pasha assured them that the proposal regarding extension in tax amnesty scheme would be presented to the Federal Ministry of Finance. He said that the tax amnesty scheme 2018 would be the last such scheme.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2018