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Punjab Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Trade Associations call for immediate withdrawal of controversial SRO 608 and extension in tax returns filing date

Lahore, October 28, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Punjab Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Trade Associations through a unanimous resolution called for immediate withdrawal of controversial SRO 608 and extension in tax returns filing date.

The resolution was adopted at a meeting convened by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Tuesday. The meeting was convened to discuss Tax Reforms.

Representatives of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Okara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PAAPAM, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Steel Melters Association, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, Pakistan Jute Mills Association, Constructors Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Canvas and Tents Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association attended the meeting.

The meeting was chaired by LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz while Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir and Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi also spoke on the occasion. The participants also stressed the need for cut in tax rate and expansion in tax net. The online tax return form is very cumbersome and businessmen are unable to decode it.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz demanded of the FBR to withdraw SRO 608(I)/2014 as in the presence of huge smuggling and massive under invoicing it would not be possible for the govt to get desired economic results. He said that at a time when the economy was passing through very critical times of its recent history because of the shortage of gas and electricity, new taxation measures like SRO 608(I)/2014 are bound to create a wrong impression about the government.

He said that the government would have to weed out the menace of smuggling and under-invoicing before implementing any tax avoidance measures. He said that it was very unfortunate that instead of widening tax base and bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, steps are being taken to squeeze the existing tax payers.

He said that the FBR which was established with an objective to facilitate the trade and industry but it has now been turned into a money making machine and the people sitting at the helm are not only unaware of the ground realities but are least concerned about the problems and the day-to-day challenges being faced by the businessmen.

LCCI President also said that at a time when both the trade and industry were looking for a relief package to run their businesses, they are being pushed to the wall by issuing SROs like SRO 608(I)/2014.
He said that business community understands well that a quantum jump in Tax-to-GDP ratio is in dire need but it also believes that this objective could only be achieved through facilitation of existing businesses instead of playing arm-twisting with them.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that the FBR should avoid implementing the SRO without the consultation of the business community for being the main stakeholders and if the FBR requires to amend existing policies, it should make the changes through public private dialogue (PPD). The LCCI feels that the Federal Board of Revenue is shifting its burden of monitoring and tracking of the tax system on business community which is unjust and unethical.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-6368854

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