FBR refuses to withdraw CNICs’ proposal for input adjustment

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VIAMehtab Haider
SOURCEThe News
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ISLAMABAD: With increasing threat of shutter down highlighted by the PTI senator during the proceedings of panel of Upper House of Parliament, the FBR on Wednesday refused to withdraw its proposal for making Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) of buyers as mandatory for manufacturers for getting input adjustments in order to achieve fixed target of Rs5550 billion.

On other hand the Senate Standing Committee on Wednesday finalised its recommendation to increase salaries of all government employees in the range of 10 to 15 percent and jacked up ceiling of taxable ceiling from Rs0.6 million to 1.2 million for the next fiscal year.

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“Our collection will go up to Rs4500 billion and will stop there with taxation measures of just Rs516 billion taken in the budget. The remaining additional collection cannot be done without provision of CNIC details of buyers otherwise the existing taxpayers will continue to remain into tax net and we will not be able to achieve our desired annual target of Rs5550 billion in next financial year” FBR’s Member Inland Revenues Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar made it clear before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance here on Wednesday.

Senator Mohsin Aziz belonging to ruling PTI cautioned to the FBR and Finance Ministry high-ups during the Senate panel meeting that the FBR should move ahead in gradual manner because such abrupt changes could result into shutter down and possessed potential to foil some good moves. He specially mentioned the provision of CNIC of buyers for manufacturers to get input adjustment and asked the FBR to withdraw this provision from the Finance Bill 2019-20.

On this point, the FBR’s Member IR Dr Hamid Ateeq Sarwar replied that if this provision was withdrawn then the desired target of Rs5550 billion could not be collected and the wish of broadening of tax base could not be materialised.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance met under chairmanship of Senator Farooq H Naek here at the Parliament House in which the Senator Kalsum Perveen proposed increase in salaries of government employees by 10 percent to all employees. All clubbing different proposals the Senate panel finalised recommendation for raising salaries in the range of 10 to 15 percent. However, Ministry of Finance Special Secretary Umar Hameed opposed the move and argued that the fiscal situation did not allow the government to grant more hike in salaries of public sector.

The FBR Chairman Shahbar Zaidi said that the tax burden for salaried class would be standing at Rs2500 for income bracket of Rs0.6 million to Rs1.2 million.

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Senator Ayesha Reza Farooq sternly opposed the move and stated that the GDP growth rate was on nosedive and inflation would be heading towards touching double digit and there was no disposable income at such scenario and there was no justification to take such harsh taxation measures that made life of poor people more miserable.

Senator Taleh Mehmood also presented different proposals to get incentives on batteries’ business and some of them got approval of the Senate committee to become part of recommendations.

(This news/article originally appeared in The News on June 20th, 2019)

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