ISLAMABAD-Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Javed Ghani on Tuesday informed a parliamentary committee that government is not charging sales tax and Federal Excise Duty on exports in Gawadar, as it is only taking one percent income tax for the development and prosperity of the area. 

He said that government has given tax free facility to Gawadar to improve the exports. He was giving briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, which met under the chair of Senator Farooq H Naik.

The committee was informed that government is establishing border markets in Balochistan to curb the smuggling and provide job opportunities to the local people. Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently approved the establishment of two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the pilot project, which would be completed and activated by February.

The committee was informed that the model of establishing border markets is followed in different countries of the world. The officials further informed that government could not control the smuggling completely due to limited resources. The government takes the action against smuggling whenever it gets information about it. The smuggling is causing huge loss to the local industry of the country. The committee members showed dissatisfaction over the government’s decision of establishing border markets in Balochistan. Committee chairman said that black marketing and smuggling would increase due to establishing boarder markets. 

The committee has also discussed the question raised by Senator Kalsoom Parveen in Senate session held on February 4, 2020 for complaints in Silk bank. The official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has informed the committee that total 42 complaints have been received in last five months. They said that SBP forwards the complaints to the particular bank to resolve them. However, complaints are forwarded to the banking ombudsman if the banks failed to address the complaints in proper way. However, the committee members have expressed dissatisfaction over the reply of SBP. The committee chairman has directed the SBP to submit detailed reply to the committee in this regard.

The Senate Standing committee on Finance and Revenue has also discussed the resolution demanding to introduce uniform pay scales for all the government employees. Senator Zeeshan Khanzada had moved the resolution in Senate on 13th July for uniform salaries in government’s offices. 

The committee was informed that pay scales in all government’s office are same. However, some of the institutions are providing additional allowances due to the nature of their jobs. Khanzada said that pay scales of UDCs and others are higher in provinces as compared to the federal government.