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Flour mills call off strike after talks with FBR

Flour mills call off strike after talks with FBR

ISLAMABAD: After successful talks with the FBR chairman Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) has called off its strike for Wednesday (today).

“Our leadership held talks with the FBR team and decided to call off strike after getting assurances that there will be no tax burden on wheat, flour, maida, suji and other products,” PFMA leaders told this scribe here on Tuesday night. On the other hand, the FBR held parleys with traders’ bodies and announced that facilitation measures would be taken to streamline procedures.

The FBR will formulate a new tax policy for jewelers and traders community. After holding detailed discussions, the FBR announced on Tuesday night that they allowed all big retailers and distributors to operate under their business registration numbers without payment of any fee. In order to simplify the business registration process, the FBR will issue a Mobile App in English and Urdu language by July 19, 2019. For small traders, the FBR will introduce a very simplified fixed tax scheme.

No officer of the FBR would be authorised to conduct inspection for the purpose of stock taking and it would bedone on the basis of self-assessment. If there is a need for inspection, the stock taking would be done with the consent of the relevant association of the business community.

Various amendments have been made in the sales tax through Finance Act, 2019 and major sectors have to charge sales tax at standard rate of sales tax @17% w.e.f. 01.07.2019 on supplies. In this regard, the Board has already issued instructions for obtaining declaration of stocks as on 30.06.2019 from taxpayers to avoid any lapse.

The FBR said that the government has already reduced withholding tax on transporters from 4 percent to 3 percent under section (1) of section 153(i) of the Finance Act 2019. The government has reduced additional customs duty on the import of edible oil from 7 to 2 percent.

The FBR has also allowed clearance of imported Third Schedule items without printing of retail price or affixing stickers for which goods declaration are filed by the importers upto July 31, 2019. The FBR clarified that no sales tax has been imposed on wheat flour in any form i.e.atta, maida or suji.

It is further elaborated that serial number 19 of the Table-1 of Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990, has been amended through the Finance Act, 2019, to withdraw exemption on those products of milling industry, other than wheat and meslin flour, which are sold in retail packing bearing brand name or a trademark. This amendment does not affect the exemption already available to wheat flour and it remains exempted from sales tax under this serial, even if it is packed or sold under a brand name.