ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee has recommended the government to reduce the rate of tax for highest slabs for salaried as well as non-salaried income in the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs in its meeting further discussed the amendments in Customs Act 1969, Sales Tax Act 1990, Income Tax Ordinance 2001, Federal Excise Tax 2005 as part of the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The meeting was chaired by Senator Farooq Hamid Naek here at the Parliament House. The committee recommended that tax rate on highest slab of non-salaried income should be changed from 29 to 25 percent. Similarly, the tax rate on highest slab of salaried income was recommended to be changed from 25 to 20 percent. The amendment regarding revised tax rates on salaried and non-salaried incomes was passed with amendment in the last slabs of both categories.

The committee was informed that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would charge the revised rates of taxes from the start of July. However, the committee members recommended the government to implement the new taxes from the start of October otherwise people would approach different courts and would take stay orders.

The committee has proposed to enhance the withholding tax on cash withdrawal from the banks to 0.6 percent from 0.4 percent. The committee, however, did not approve of the amendment on reducing tariffs on import of 34 items intended to enhance exports and support local industry with a vote of 3-2. Senators Musadiq Malik, Haroon Akhtar and Muhammad Akram opposed the amendment while Senators Mohsin Aziz and Mian Ateeq supported the amendment. The government was informed that FBR would suffer revenue loss of Rs5 billion by reducing the duty.

The Committee approved the amendments relating to the tobacco industry, import duty on vehicles of more than 1800cc engine power, tax deduction exemption for non-filers while doing transaction to the Dam-Fund, bringing the percentage of tax deduction for non-filers on bank transactions to 0.6%. The amendment of removing the bar on purchase of property for non-filers among a few other matters will be discussed in the meeting to be held on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended Senators Mohsin Aziz, Khanzada Khan, Haroon Akhtar Khan, Dr. Musadiq Malik, Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh, Muhammad Akram, Minister of State for Revenue and officers from FBR and customs.