LAHORE : The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here Monday welcomed a government decision regarding removal of tax anomalies aimed at facilitating the business community and rationalization of various taxation measures announced in Finance Act 2013-14. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that they had numerous meetings with Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and convinced him for a cut in various taxation measures, removal of anomalies and withdrawal of certain conditions in larger interests of the economy.

“We appreciate Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who has given due consideration to the business community’s demands. It will boost economic activities and provide relief to businessmen,” he observed and hoped that access to bank accounts details and increase in turnover tax would also go soon because the business community had strong reservations over the issues. He also invited the Finance Minister to visit the LCCI to listen to the business community’s point of view.

Farooq Iftikhar said that it was a long-standing LCCI demand that condition of Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), National Tax Number (NTN) and addresses for retailers should be withdrawn; withholding sales tax for unregistered persons should be curtailed to one per cent.

In one of major relief measures, he said, the government had reduced the rate of withholding sales tax from 17 percent to one percent on purchases from unregistered persons, which would not be adjustable. Before the budget 2013-14, this rate was five percent that was increased to 17 percent in case of purchases from unregistered persons, he mentioned.

Likewise, the government had decided that items added to the Third Schedule to the Sales Tax Act of 1990 wide the finance bill, 2013, (except for fertiliser and cement) be omitted from the schedule and subjected to two percent extra tax in lieu of sales tax at retail stage, he elaborated.

The LCCI president said the waiver of the CNIC and NTN conditions and addresses for retailers would give relaxation from documentation, and it would be highly appreciable.

He said the cut in sales tax on fabrics from five percent to three percent was also appreciable because clothes were a common good used by all and it was impacting everybody through higher prices.

Through another decision, commercial importers had been excluded from the sales tax withholding regime, while restriction imposed under SRO 1125(I)/2011 on refunds against local supplies had been done away with to allow refunds (after pre-refund scrutiny) as admissible under the relevant law, he maintained.