LAHORE -  Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) has assured not to levy general sales tax (GST) on jewellery shops which are less than 100 square feet, said Punjab Sarafa Gems & Jewellery Association on Wednesday.

20-member delegation led by association’s Chairman Muhammad Ahmad called on FBR’s Senior Chief Sales Tax Javed Memon and apprised him about the hardships being faced by the jewellers due to taxation policies. Memon assured the delegation that a notification in this regard would be issued during the next week.

Muhammad Ahmad informed the FBR officers that GST was levied in 1998 but the same was withdrawn following protests.

The then officers admitted the special status of this business and a fixed tax was levied in consultation with jewellers, he added.

He said that GST was not possible on every sale or purchase as majority of jewellers only offer services of designing or polishing. “Gold is owned by the consumers while there are many stages of making ornaments”, he said, adding, most of the time people come to amend or redesign their old ornaments or just to seek polishing services.

He said that majority of jewellers were not big businessmen especially those sitting in small cities and villages. He said that the community was ready to pay taxes but it was impossible to pay GST on each sale or purchase.

Listening sympathetically, FBR Senior Chief Sales Tax assured the delegation that their submission was well understood and a new policy of taxation would be devised excluding jewellers going businesses in shops less than 1000 square feet and electricity bill below Rs50,000 out of GST regime. He assured that new policies would be devised in consultation with the stakeholders.