ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday recommended the government to withdraw general sales tax (GST) on tractors and maintain subsidy on DAP fertilizer at Rs500 instead of Rs250 per bag, as announced in the budget.

The NA committee, which met under the chairmanship of Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh (MNA), has also unanimously recommended that import of fertilizer (urea) should be opened for private sector immediately in order to give relief to the farmers. While considering the matter pertaining to textile industry for zero rating, member (IR-Policy), FBR stated that a committee has been constituted by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to resolve issue of businessman, adding that textile industry representatives have been advised to contact anomaly committee of the FBR for addressing grievances in this regard.

The committee also discussed the matter with regard to fixation of income tax on commercial and industrial importers. A representative from Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry requested that a level playing field should be provided to both commercial importers & industrial importers and there must be reasonable differential of income tax between them. “Presently 6% fix withholding tax is imposed on commercial importers and industrial importers are subject to normal taxation with minimum 1% on turnover. Some industries misuse this facility. In this budget, auditing of industries is suggested, which will not resolve the matter. Rather, it will create cumbersome problems and delays,” KCCI representative said.

The NA body strongly recommended that this differential in income tax may be reduced to 4% income tax as final tax on import of raw materials by the commercial importers and 2% adjustable income tax on import of raw material by the industry. The committee also recommended that 10.5% excise duty should be maintained on Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD).

The committee was informed by the members that the officers/officials from various ministries have requested that assembly business is being conducted by the relevant sections staff beyond office hours without any additional financial benefit and compensation. They demanded that some financial benefits at par with officers of the National Assembly/Senate may be given to the officers/officials working in Minister’s Office, Focal Person i.e. Joint Secretary (Admin) of the Ministry and Section Officers (Council).

The members further informed the Committee that said proposal has already been recommended by the four federal ministers that 100% of the running Basic Pay may be granted to the officers and staff of the above concerned sections & offices in order to enhance the performance of the parliamentary business. The committee recommended to Ministry of Finance & Revenue to consider the matter.

Daniyal Aziz, member of the Committee, informed the committee that import duty on automobiles may be discussed. The Committee adopted the suggestion for further consideration in the next meeting.        

Meeting was attended by Saeed Ahmed Khan Manais, Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Sheikh Fayyaz-ud-Din, Mian Abdul Mannan, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Leila Khan, Dr Nafisa Shah, Jehangir Khan Tareen, Asad Umar, MNAs and besides senior officers from Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics & Privatization.