LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has expressed grave concern over Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) inaction on section 38-B and withholding tax on bank transactions and urged the prime minister to intervene into the matter.

In a statement, LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed said that challenges to economy would swell if issues of discretionary powers and withholding tax on bank transactions are not resolved. “Being a major source of revenue for the government, business community deserves honour while withholding tax should be removed as it is unjustified and double taxation”, he said and added that indirect taxes are being removed gradually throughout the world, here in Pakistan these are contributing around 60 percent to the revenue despite the fact that expenses on this practice are higher than the collections.

He said that section 38-B is being misused badly against the business community that is one of the major reasons of low tax-to-GDP ratio. They said that exports have already declined and trade deficit is touching the sky while such issues are adding fuel to the fire. He said that FBR should stop harassing filers as it discourages businesses to come into the tax net. Registered businesses are required to comply with various departments involving a lot of financial and time resources whereas unregistered businesses are free from all such hassles, he added.