RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has shown strong reservations on the federal and provincial budgets 2021-22.

Addressing a post-budget meeting at the Chamber House on Thursday, RCCI President Nasir Mirza said that section 203A authorises the tax officer to arrest a taxpayer. “This will increase harassment, bribery and blackmail,” he said, adding in general, both budgets reflect balance and growth. However, there were certain measures which have been proposed in the budget that sent a negative message to the business community.

He said the reduction in customs duty, withholding tax, capital gains tax and regulatory duty is welcome. The duty rate on poultry feed and raw materials has been reduced but on the other hand the sales tax rate has been increased from 10pc to 17pc.

The government has increased the income tax rate on the turnover of flour mills from 0.25pc to 1.25pc and this should be withdrawn immediately, he added.

Group leader and former president Sohail Altaf said that the business community has been badly affected due to Covid-19. Only by ending departmental intervention, commercial activities in the country can be boosted. Section 203 (A) of the Income Tax Ordinance also contradicts the government’s own policy which states that there should be minimal interference between taxpayers and the tax authority.

He said that the Ministry of Finance should consult stakeholders regarding installation of a point-of-sale (POS) system. Measures such as a fine of Rs1 million and sealing of the shop should be withdrawn, he said, adding that the government should take incentives and attractive measures to increase the tax net. You cannot collect taxes by threatening tax-payers, he added.

“Make the POS system attractive. The sales tax rate should be brought up to single digit,” he said, adding there was no allocation for the game changer Ring Road Project. Convener Tax Committee Shehzad Malik briefed participants of the meeting on federal and provincial budgets in detail. He said that e-hearing is being introduced and section 122 has been withdrawn.

However, we demand that the issuance of manual notices be ensured as many tax payers are still unaware of e-notices, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

Opinion

Lull before the storm
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Lull before the storm

It does not take rocket science to figure out why each of the two sides is taking the stand it is.
The larger debate
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The larger debate

The revelations show how the economy promotes inequality.

Editorial

Anti-government rallies
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Anti-government rallies

Banning a party because it can create a public nuisance sets a dangerous precedent which can be repeated to justify future bans.
24 Oct 2021

End of polio?

AFTER a long struggle, the reward is finally in sight. With only a single case of wild poliovirus reported this year...
24 Oct 2021

Heritage work

IT is encouraging that, slowly, projects of heritage conservation and preservation appear to be taking off. These...
A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...