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No chance after 30th to whiten black money

Top Story

June 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: With no possibility of hiking the GST rate in the upcoming budget, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed his economic team to burden the rich and affluent and protect the poor as much as possible. He also directed the FBR to crack down on those not availing themselves of tax amnesty scheme after the expiry of June 30 deadline.

At the moment, no proposal is under consideration to increase the the GST rate from 17 to 18 percent in the next budget. The government’s economic team, comprising adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, State Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and Special Assistant Dr Sania Nishtar, met Prime Minister Imran Khan at Banigala.

It was also decided that the premier would take the final decision on abolishing zero rating regime for five export-oriented sectors after Eid.

Shabbar Zaidi presented the report pertaining to the impact of the amnesty scheme.

The sources told The News that the prime minister was disillusioned about tax evasion and asked the economic managers about the methods to bring the tax dodgers into the tax net.

He was confident that new economic team will produce desired results since all the relevant institutions were cooperating with it wholeheartedly.

The huddle that continued for more than two hours decided that the finance and revenue authorities will reduce their Eid holidays to give maximum for the tabulation of budget proposals and preparations of relevant documents.

Imran categorically conveyed to his economic team that there would be no concessions for individuals not benefiting from the amnesty scheme and action would be taken against the tax-evaders after June 30.

The government will not offer any concession to the people who will fail to benefit from extension in date for filing tax returns, sources quoted the PM as saying.

He said all government institutions, including the FBR, were committed to taking action against the tax evaders.

According to sources, Prime Minister Khan asked the meeting how big tax evaders could be brought into the tax net.

“Why only the salaried class pays tax,” he asked.

The issue of sales tax zero-rating on five export-oriented sectors was again discussed with the PM. Imran Khan will take the final decision on withdrawal of zero-rating facility after Eid holidays.

The tax authorities shared the revenue generation plan for 2019-20 for next fiscal year including new taxation measures, withdrawal of exemptions and administrative measures to broaden the tax base.

The revenue collection would be increased to Rs5,550 billion in the next fiscal year that would be around Rs1,500 billion higher from the projected tax collection of Rs4,000 billion 2018-19.

According to sources, the meeting discussed the budget which will be presented on June 11.

Hammad Azhar briefed the meeting on extension in the date of tax returns and tax revenue.

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