KARACHI: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has assured the business community that the new ordinance aimed to broaden the tax base and targeted non-filers and under-filers who...
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has assured the business community that the new ordinance aimed to broaden the tax base and targeted non-filers and under-filers who filed zero taxes.
Exchanging views with the leadership of the Businessmen Group (BMG) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at a meeting, Tarin said it was a matter of concern that out of a total of 2.9 million tax filers, one million showed zero taxable income. He clarified that victimisation was definitely not the purpose of the ordinance.
“We are intending to take help of artificial intelligence to examine electricity, gas, telephone bills along with banking transaction activities and other details of such filers and classify them as under-filers, who will be asked to submit their taxes through a third party,” he added.
The minister also assured business community of extension in the Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL), and said claims worth Rs32 billion from last year would be settled within six months as per the allocation in the budget.
Tarin advised KCCI to visit Islamabad to discuss their reservations about the new Ordinance, besides resolving all issues on the spot by arranging meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Advisor Razak Dawood, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar and Industries and Production Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar.
“We will instantly give deadlines for all the pending policies as PM is determined to revive business, industrial and agricultural activities,” Tarin added.
The government was determined to resolve issues hampering sustainable economic growth at 5 percent, which was why the PDSP was enhanced and prices of raw materials slashed, he said.
“Good news is that we are growing as all the indicators are showing improvements and we are growing faster than what was being expected.
However, the import bill is going to touch $19 billion this year as compared to $13 billion of last year mainly due to rising petroleum prices and other commodities which we have to absorb.”
Government was aiming for an 18 percent export pace in the next few years, up from the current 8 percent, for which the narrow industrial base was being expanded through incentives, such as those given to the construction and pharmaceutical sector, as well as the spare parts manufacturers.
“Anyone with economy of scale production is being incentivised to enable them to go for exports as well. We have to improve the exports and FDI by facilitating the local investors through Board of Investment. If our local investors will not be happy, how we are going to attract foreign investors?” the minister asked.
He blamed inflation both global and regional on disruption in production all around the world due to Covid along with logistics disruptions and exorbitant container chargers.
“Prices of palm oil, wheat and rice have been rising globally since 2018. We cannot isolate ourselves from international commodities’ prices as we are linked with them,” the finance minister said.
On KCCI’s concerns about Karachi’s infrastructure woes, Tarin assured of communicating that to the PM to seek a solution for improvement.