Lahore  - The high taxation on cement industry encourages tax evasion and negatively impacts its consumption. The abolishment of excise duty not only eliminates tax evasion but also enhances cement consumption at reduced price.

In the budget proposal sent to Chairman FBR, Muhammad Ali Tabba, Chairman APCMA stated that certain services are being taxed under independent Provincial Sales Tax Laws which are in vogue in Sindh, KPK and Punjab. Such services are still taxable under both the Federal Excise Act 2005 as well as under Provincial Sales Tax Laws, which tantamount to double taxation.

‘It is recommended that FED on all services rendered in Sindh, KPK or Punjab may be abolished as it would eliminate double taxation and reduce cost of doing business,’ he added.

Similarly, he added, before preferring appeal to the Office of Commissioner (Appeals) or Appellate Tribunal, a taxpayer is required to deposit the impugned duty demanded or penalty imposed in the appealable order. ‘This mandatory compulsion is considered as a hindrance in the dispensation of justice,’ he added.

He said the identical provisions in Income Tax and Sales Tax have already been repealed, therefore, it is suggested that the same should also be removed from the excise law.

Moreover, Chairman Apcma added, Iranian cement is being flooded into border areas of Baluchistan and is being sold at lower prices as compared to locally produced cement due to inferior quality of Iranian Cement and its low cost due to export sanctions.

This phenomenon is very detrimental for local manufacturers and in the longer run can challenge the survival of local industry. Additional regulatory duty should be immediately imposed on imports of Iranian cement and some prior approval mechanism from the government should be in place regarding quality of Iranian Cement being imported in Pakistan,’ requested Chairman Apcma.