Custom Duty on imports, Federal government mulls important decisions

Custom Duty on imports, Federal government mulls important decisions

ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Monday stressed that being very scarce and raw material of many industries and depleted of forest reserves in the country the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should remove the Additional Custom Duty on import of timber as special case, because of its sensitivity of the product.

Discussing the matter for elimination of Additional Custom Duty on raw material of wood and timber the members were of the view that government was spending huge amount on growing trees to save wood stock and to preserve the environment.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Faizullah. The committee decided that FBR will submit its comprehensive report in that regard and Ministry of Climate Change may be invited in the next meeting.

Meanwhile the committee also directed the FBR to abolish the regulatory duties on import of tyre to prevent smuggling.

The committee directed the Board to address the grievances of textile exporters with the consultation of Hafiz Pasha (Exporter from Faisalabad textile industry).

Discussing the matter with respect to deduction of 5 percent maintenance allowance from the federal employees residing in the government houses and apartments, Ali Awan said the ministry of housing was not utilizing the fund of deduction on the maintenance of houses and apartments, therefore this deduction should be abolished for employees of grade 6 to grade 15.

A senior official from ministry of housing informed that this year the ministry would collect around Rs 82 million in term of deduction, however, this money would be submitted under the government’s non tax revenue head.

He informed that Pak PWD was responsible for the maintenance, however more than 80 percent of total fund is spent on the pensions and salaries of the employees of Pak PWD. The committee directed that a uniform policy must be formulated in this regard to resolve the issue.

While considering the report of the Sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Finance (appointed under the convenership of Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, MNA). The committee expressed its displeasure on the consecutive absence of the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan in the meetings of the committee, despite of repeated requests and directed the Ministry of Finance to ensure the attendance of the Governor, SBP in the next meeting.

The committee also desired that Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Hafiz Shaikh may be requested to attend the next meeting of the Committee.

The committee discussed the taxation issues being faced by the exporters, importers and retail sectors. The committee members have expressed their apprehensions with regard to the targets set by the FBR after removing the SRO 1125.

However, Member Policy (IR) FBR Dr Hamid Khan informed that Government was working efficiently to resolve the problems of the exporters and importers.

He also presented the details of the tax refunds issued by the FBR from July 1 to November 30 in the field of Income Tax, Sale Tax, Federal Excise Duty and Custom.

The meeting was informed that during first five months of current fiscal year, the FBR had refunded Rs 11 billion out of total refund claims from the exporters belonging to five zero rated sectors.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Jamil Ahmed Khan, Faheem Khan, Aftab Hussain Siddique, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Ali Perviz, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Dr Nafisa Shah, . Jawad Hussain, Muhammad Israr Tareen, Abdul Wasay and Ali Nawaz Awan, MNA mover of the Calling Attention besides the senior officers from Ministry of Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs, FBR, State Bank of Pakistan and Ministry of Law & Justice.