ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Wednesday criticised the government for not incorporating its recommendations in the budget for next fiscal year (2018-19).

The parliamentary committee, which met under the chair of Qaiser Ahmed Shaikh, noted that government has not considered the budget recommendations of the committee. The committee members, who hail from ruling PML-N, also came down hard on the government for ignoring its proposals.

Shaikh said that committee recommended the government to reduce the mark-up on agricultural loans but the government did not implement it. Similarly, he said that government did not consider the committee proposals to reduce the trade deficit of the country.

The committee chairman also criticised Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail for not attending the committee meetings. Another member Shaikh Fayyaz Uddin of PML-N said that Federal Board of Revenue had assured the committee to eliminate third tier of cigarettes but it was not done.

Other members also criticised the government for not giving incentives in the budget. They said that government had announced tax amnesty scheme, which was injustice with the honest taxpayers of the country.

The Committee discussed the proposals received from different stakeholders i.e. All Pakistan Cables & Conductors Manufacturers Association and once again recommended to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that differential of income tax between commercial and industrial importers may be made as per the following: Industrial importer at import stage for raw material falling under chapter 25 to 55 will pay @ 2% WHT adjustable. No exemption certificate will be issued to industries. Commercial importers importing raw material under Chapter 25 to 55 will pay 4% WHT as full and final. Rest regime of WHT will remain the same which is for finished product. FPCCI agrees with the above proposal.

The Committee recommended to FBR to arrange a meeting with the stakeholders of industrial and commercial importers at the earliest. The committee recommended that suggestions received from real estate, construction sector and Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) may be forwarded to FBR for favorable consideration.

The meeting was attended by Saeed Ahmed Khan Manais, Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan, Isphanyar M Bhandara, Ms Arifa Khalid Parvez, Ms Khalida Mansoor, Sheikh Fayyaz-ud-Din, Dr Nafisa Shah, Syed Mustafa Mehmud, Asad Umar and Abdul Rashid Godil, MNAs, besides the senior officers from Ministry of Finance & Revenue, Federal Board of Revenue and stakeholders.