Multan

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa disclosed on Tuesday that Nadra had designed a tax payer card for the tax-payers and the holders of this card would get numerous benefits.

Addressing the members of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), he added that the card holders would be entitled to pay concessional tax on the purchase of cars and entitled to waiver of withholding tax on the purchase of property. He warned that the government had decided to impose maximum tax on tax evaders. He pointed out that the tax-to-GDP ratio declined during the current years despite increase in tax rate, adding that if tax-to-GDP ratio increased by 13 per cent, there would be no need of foreign loans or borrowing from the banks. He disclosed that the FBR had paid more than Rs.20 billion to 22,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as tax refunds while the payment of the same to textile sector would be done till September 30.

He said that about 30 to 35 thousand people new tax payers had filed their declaration during current fiscal year. He assured that investigation and intelligence officers would establish their camp office in Multan for the disposal of cases of south Punjab, adding that no company of individual involved in fake or flag invoice would be black listed unheard and an opportunity of defence would be provided and his previous consignment would not be treated as fake.

He declared that out of 2.5 million retailers currently doing business in the country, top 10,000 retailers would be brought into the tax net under the new scheme proposed through Finance Bill (2014-15) as just 8,000 were currently registered with the sales tax department. He further disclosed that two tier regimes for sales tax had been proposed for retailers. “The first tier shall comprise retailers who are part of national or international chains, or are located in air-conditioned shopping malls, or have credit or debit card machines, or having electricity bill exceeding Rs 50,000 per month for the past 12 months. They will be required to pay sales tax under the normal regime and to install Electronic Cash Registers,” he explained.

 He added that the remaining retailers would fall in the second tier, who would be charged sales tax through their electricity bills at the following rates - 5 per cent of monthly electricity bill up to Rs 20,000 and 7.5 per cent of monthly electricity bill above Rs 20,000.

He admitted that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) failed to achieve the target of Rs 2381 billion revenue collection as a result of which the new government faced serious financial problems. He stressed the need for making concrete efforts to impose fiscal discipline, reduce inflation and induce economic growth. The FBR Chairman said that around 1.5 million people held the National Tax Number (NTN), out of which only 0.85 million paid their taxes. The FBR Chairman said that the FBR has paid income tax refund of Rs 60 billion during the first eleven months of 2013-14 against Rs 43.5 billion paid in the corresponding period of previous fiscal year, reflecting a handsome growth of 32 per cent.

Earlier, speaking at a function after inaugurating model Customs collectorate building in Multan, he said that the Customs Anti-Smuggling and Intelligence wings needed to be made more active for checking smuggling on Pak-Iran-Afghanistan borders as the country shared very long frontiers with these countries. He warned that the local industry would completely be ruined if smuggling was not controlled forthwith. He pointed out that Multan was located on an important smuggling route and the responsibility of Multan Customs increased manifolds in this situation.

He claimed that political interference in FBR had been eliminated. He said that the hurdles in way of making Multan Airport and Railway Dry Port functional would be removed.

Earlier, briefing the participants, the Collector Customs Multan Sarfaraz Ahmad Warraich said that Rs 122 million was spent on new building and estimate of total expenditure stood at Rs 140 million. He said that Customs Multan generated Rs 36 billion while 1500 containers were exported monthly from here.