KARACHI - Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs Asad Umer, during a meeting with a high-level delegation of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in Islamabad on Tuesday, principally agreed to restore the Final Tax Regime (FTR) for the commercial importers in the larger interest of trade and Industry.

The commercial importers were treated under final tax regime and allowed audit exemption on the payment of six percent withholding tax but in the federal budget 2018-19, this regime was replaced with minimum tax which will be restored back to the same position as it was before the budget 2018-19, he added.

KCCI's delegation, which was led by Chairman BMG and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli comprised of Vice Chairmen BMG & Former Presidents KCCI Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, KCCI's upcoming President Junaid Esmail Makda and Former Senior Vice President KCCI Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi who briefed the Finance Minister about the issues being faced by the business and industrial community due to poor taxation policies.

Asad Umer further assured KCCI's delegation that recommendations given by Tax Reforms Commission will be implemented in letter and spirit within a month.

He further stated that in future, the Regulatory Duty will not be imposed as a revenue generation measure but will only be considered to protect and safeguard the interest of local industry on the specific recommendations by the Ministries of Commerce, Industries, Textiles and Investments.

While referring to wide criticism over government's decision to allow purchase of new vehicles and property by non-filers of tax returns, Asad Umer said that the government would certainly look forward to extending more incentives to filer and discourage non-filers therefore, this issue was being addressed by devising some kind of special measures to accommodate and facilitate non-residents/ overseas Pakistanis only.

He appreciated the proposals of Karachi Chamber to allow the non-residents/ overseas Pakistanis to purchase vehicles and properties being non-filers only on the basis of foreign exchange remittances received through proper banking channels.

Asad Umer further agreed that gas price disparity between the export-oriented industries and local industries needs to be rationalized as supplying gas to local industry at higher rates was not the right move because it is the local industries that cater to huge demand of goods from the entire population of the country and create millions of jobs.

KCCI's delegation warmly welcomed the assurances given by Finance Minister which, upon their implementation, would certainly create a win-win situation for everyone and help in dealing with the ongoing economic crises being faced by the country.