KARACHI - The Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) has presented its proposals to the Federal Government for the forthcoming budget 2009-2010. The city industrialists body, KCCI sought relief in term of taxes for industries as well as for common public. President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Anjum Nisar, presented these budget proposals to the relevant authority of the Federal government. According to the detail of the proposals, the KCCI proposed that exemption limit for man, be raised from Rs 180,000/- to Rs 300,000/- and for women from Rs 250,000/- to Rs 400,000/ in coming budget. Certain percentage of educational expenses be deducted on straight line basis against total income. KCCI proposed to bring into tax-net every individual having income of over Rs 300,000/-. KCCI proposed that for this, government should approach those sectors of the society which have not been brought into tax net specially services sector which is 51pc and agriculture sector which is 21pc and all other sectors where individuals having income to this level and are not paying the taxes. Similarly, the maximum corporate tax be reduced to 25 per cent for manufacturing in order to remain internationally competitive in attracting foreign investment. KCCI proposed to establish an Endowment Fund from Rs40 billion available in the Workers Welfare Fund (WWF) and its profit should be utilised for the workers welfare and collection from the industries should be freezed for a period of three years. KCCI similarly proposed to transform EOBI into Endowment Fund as well. Tax payer card be introduced to all tax payers who have filed and compiled tax return for last three fiscal years and a mechanism may be established to monitor these tax payers on annual basis to facilitate the process, with clear benefits such as, 50 per cent discount on government fees like passport fee, NIC fee, driving license fee etc. The waiver on loan processing fee and any other one-time charges taken by banks for loans/finance processing and reduced mark-up charges. Export development surcharge collected from exporters @ 0.25 per cent be abolished as no significant efforts have been made by the government or TDAP for exporters out of export development fund, KCCI demanded, adding the Withholding Tax being charged on export turnover @ 1.0pc be brought down to 0.5pc. Research and Development (R&D) support for high value added textiles (towel, apparel, bed, wear) be continued for next three years as Pakistani exporters are generally facing tough competitive in global market. KCCI recommended that the distributors and AOPS must be exempted for deduction of tax from customers on their transactions while rates of sales tax at 16 per cent, 18.5 per cent and 21 per cent were much high in the region. It is an incentive for evasion and smuggling and burdens on existing tax base. Products related and associated with Information Technology be exempted from Sales Tax. All industries declared as zero-rated; their status should remain unchanged. Zero-rated industries also be exempted from Sales Tax on utilities across the board, KCCI said, adding the all zero-rated industries and commercial importer, on the grounds that they are exempted from audits, be allowed to file Sales Tax Returns on quarterly basis. The Pharmaceutical Packaging Material must be exempted from Sales Tax while Excise Duties and Federal Excise Duties levied on different products other than cigarettes and intoxicating items, be completely eliminated, KCCI proposed. The Sales Tax Registration procedure be simplified. CNIC, NTN and Bank certificates should be considered as adequate requirement and no further supporting document should be demanded. For refund cases, drawback in Star Computerised Software should be rectified and the refund may be ensured within 30 days and the obstacles in the refund cases should be removed. KCCI further said the filing of Sales Tax through E-filing be implemented gradually, Sales Tax be eliminated on imports of all medical instruments while ST and duty on all raw-material and machinery, which are not indigenously manufactured, be eliminated completely. Similarly, the process of bringing in frequent changes in the sales tax policies and rules should be stopped. Smuggling of items imported through Afghan Transit Trade Agreement should be stopped and completely eradicated, otherwise, on such items maximum duty should be reduced to minimum. Items cleared through CARE system of Customs may be cleared on declared invoice as per GATT rules and inordinate delay should not happen. If there are cases of difference in valuation, goods may be cleared according to Section 81 of Customs Law and the case be transferred to a Valuation Committee having due representation of KCCI and FPCCI. KCCI further proposed for specific duty on per ton basis on primary and secondary flat rolled steel products and changes in the duties of raw-materials of large number of commodities should be introduced. KCCI has also demanded that Shipping Lines, Freight Forwarding Agents be governed and controlled through a fully authorised regulatory authority. Moreover, KCCI has demanded to establish National Tariff Authority, which would be responsible for rationalisation of tariffs and to handle the grievances in this regard.