LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday took a strong exception to the Federal Board of Revenue for its proposal to impose one per cent Special Excise Duty on the import and local manufacturing of goods in the upcoming budget (2014-15) and said that any such move would be resisted tooth and nail.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the imposition of Special Excise Duty would further strengthen black economy besides making smuggling feasible therefore it would be wiser on the part of the FBR to withdraw the proposal.
The LCCI President said that the SED would give a severe blow to all government efforts aimed at raising the level of ease of doing business as it would be introducing a parallel system of taxation whereby the businessmen would have to do double documentation to satiate the requirements of the taxing authorities. It seemed that the proposal to impose Special Excise Duty was launched by the bureaucracy to hide its failure over the expansion in the tax net, the LCCI President added.
He said that the FBR should focus on three areas including under-invoicing, smuggling and expansion in the tax net instead of twisting the arms of the existing tax payers. Engineer Sohail Lashari said that all over the world in general and in the leading economies in particular, the stakeholders are taken on board well ahead of implementing any specific economy related policy but unfortunately, the situation in Pakistan was the other way round.
He said that at this point in time when the economy has just started coming out of woods, there was hardly any justification for creating troubles for the compliant tax payers and above all the SED was bound to jack up the cost of doing business. “Actually, the cost of doing business should be higher for the unregistered persons but proposals are being sent to the Finance Ministry to punish registered persons who are performing their national duties diligently.”
Engineer Sohail Lashari said that since, the coming budget is the second budget of the present government therefore it is hoped that all measures would be taken to keep the economy on rails by focusing on the expansion of tax base, controlling under invoicing and smuggling.
He said that there must not be any new taxes in the budget keeping in view the difficulties of the business doing people in the wake of ongoing energy crisis and escalating electricity prices.
The LCCI President expressed the optimism the Finance Minister would give consideration to private sector demand in the way the Minister acted in case of SRO 351 (I) 2014.
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