LAHORE – On the pattern of Karachi Port Trust, Customs Department and the LCCI can jointly develop a dry port at Wagha Border, which would be a very lucrative business and can be done by a company listed at stock markets.

“This would benefit the entire business community to the maximum as a big business is expected through Wagha in coming days,” observed Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Ali Arshad Hakeem.

He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Over the issue of Section 153-A of Income Tax Ordinance 2001, he said that it would be kept in abeyance till 2013 and new notices would be issued to businessmen.

The FBR Chairman said that 3 million new potential tax payers have been identified through foreign trips, luxury vehicles and high valued properties. “We are going to introduce a new scheme under which they would be allowed to get themselves registered by paying only Rs 40,000.

It would be a huge opportunity for all the 3 million new tax payers and would benefit old tax payers as well.

“If 3 million people pay Rs 40,000, the amount would be Rs 120 billion that would be an encouraging sign for tax collection machinery and for the country.”

The FBR Chairman said that in Pakistan 9.1pc tax to GDP ratio is equivalent to Rawanda and Syria and it is because of miss-declaration inflated input claims and loop holes in system but the FBR would be making all out efforts to enhance tax to GDP ratio.

He said that in Turkey, prizes are given to tax payers through a balloting of sales tax invoices and the FBR is also going to introduce this system in Pakistan, hopefully by next year.

He said that a new system of sales tax collection has been evolved that would be rolled out next year. He said that there are 3.4 million NTN holders in Pakistan but only 0.8 million are filing their returns.

The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, in his address of welcome, highlighted a number of issued being faced by the business community while Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, a large number of Executive Committee members and businessmen attended the meeting.

LCCI president highlighted problems being faced by business community at Wagha Border, delayed refunds of sales tax, delay in sales tax registration, ineffectiveness of FBR helpline and tax amnesty schemes.