LAHORE The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry flayed the FBR bid of enhancing revenue collection terming, the SRO 1012 unjustified, which actually declares levy of 5 percent sales tax on commercial importers. It is to be noted that in a bid to improve tax to GDP ratio by raising revenue volume, the Federal Board of Revenue had issued the SRO-1012, levying 5 percent sales tax on importers at the stage of imports. But the business community including all chambers, as usual, blindly criticized the SRO, saying that 5 percent sales tax would render the commercial importers uncompetitive. According to experts, the FBR had given 'zero rate sales tax regime to some importers in SRO 283 which was providing additional benefit to them, besides hitting the local manufacturers hard. But now revamping of the sales tax regime in SRO-1012, will improve the revenue of Customs Department manifold. Importers said that this would increase the cost of commercial importers by 13 percent to 14 percent. Setting aside the advantage to national exchequer, the importers urged the Chairman FBR to withdraw SRO-1012, and order the release of imported goods as per previous SRO-283 to save them from paying due taxes. Following the suit, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Friday also termed the SRO 1012 unrealistic, unjustified and urged the Federal Board of Revenue to immediately withdraw the said SRO. In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) must avoid issuing any such SROs without due consultation of Chambers of Commerce in the country for being the main stakeholders. The LCCI President said that the sudden imposition of higher rate of 5% income tax and sales tax on commercial importers has blocked the clearance of raw materials thus hitting the commercial importers hard. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the SRO 1012 will have devastating effects as with the increase in tax on commercial imports, the cost of manufacturing and end product would ultimately become dearer. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that these and many other proposed increase in the tax will strangle the already crisis-hit businessmen in the country. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry feels that the Federal Board of Revenue is fast attaining the status of money making machine which is unjust and unethical. If the FBR was interested collecting revenues, it must bring more sectors into the tax net instead of creating troubles for the registered persons who were already doing businesses in the presence of multiple internal and external challenges. The LCCI President said that it is very difficult to understand that why the people sitting at helm of affairs at the Federal Board of Revenue do not consult the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the country before issuing SROs or formulating business related policies. The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh urged the Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh to help withdraw the SRO 1012 that is going to spoil the very spirit of doing business and in prevailing worst economic conditions business community will have no other option but to stop their businesses.