LAHORE -  The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) submitted comprehensive "Taxation Proposals" for the upcoming Punjab Budget 2017-18 representing the collective recommendations of foreign investors.

OICCI proposals are focused on accelerating economic growth and FDI inflow in the province and the country. Commenting on the OICCI Punjab Province Taxation Proposals, OICCI President Khalid Mansoor said, "OICCI Members commend the initiative being taken by the Punjab government and Punjab Revenue Authority in broadening the reach of its coverage to 45,000 registered taxpayers already and its active engagement in building a conducive private-public partnership among the key stakeholders”.

“It is desirable that the Punjab government give a serious consideration to our taxation proposals which eventually will be a win-win for the province, the country and the tax payers,” he added.

The OICCI's specific recommendations for inclusion in Punjab Budget 2017-18 include, Punjab sales tax rates which is 16 percent on services should be reduced in 2017 budget at parity with Sindh sales tax rate of 13 percent and gradually reduced to 10 percent over the next three years, Agricultural Income should be taxed on actual, and not notional income, including rent income of absentee landlords. Telephone usage sales tax rate of 19.5 percent, should be made equivalent to GST rate on services, Input Adjustment on Franchise Fee should be allowed to manufacturers, and this is also allowed in other provinces, Input Tax paid by pharmaceutical industry and export of services by registered persons should be zero rated.

The OICCI Taxation Proposals for Punjab also include recommendations for a better co-ordination between all Sales Tax authorities in Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan and with FBR, a uniform definition of taxation of services and jurisdiction be agreed to facilitate the tax payers, and input of sales tax should be allowed as whole and not for the assets exclusively used in a province. Furthermore, the federal and provincial governments should urgently address the issue of jurisdiction of WWF/WPPF and provide clarity to tax payers.

The OICCI is the collective voice of nearly 200 members, representing nearly all the largest foreign investors in Pakistan, who contribute, annually, over one third of the revenue collections in the country by the federal and provincial revenue authorities and invest over $1.5 billion annually in new capital expenditure. OICCI is the largest chamber in terms of economic contribution and CSR initiatives by its members, which benefits over 20 million underprivileged sections of society.