LAHORE: All major chambers and industrial representative bodies of Punjab, through a unanimous resolution, have pledged to fight against taxation at retail level, calling for immediate withdrawal of SRO 608 and extension in tax returns filing date.
The resolution was adopted at a meeting convened by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The meeting was convened to discuss Tax Reforms. Representatives of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), Gujrat Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Sargodha Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Okara Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry, PAAPAM, Pakistan Gloves Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Pakistan Steel Melters Association, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, Pakistan Jute Mills Association, Constructors Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Canvas & Tents Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Pakistan Footwear Manufacturers Association attended the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Ijaz A Mumtaz demanded the FBR to withdraw SRO 608(I)/2014, saying that in the presence of huge smuggling and massive under invoicing, it would be impossible for the government to get the desired economic results. He said that at a time when the economy was passing through a critical juncture due various problems including the shortage of gas and electricity, new taxation measures like SRO 608(I)/2014 are bound to create a wrong impression about the government.
He said that the government would have to weed out the menace of smuggling and under-invoicing before implementing any tax avoidance measures. He said that it was very unfortunate that instead of widening tax base and bringing the untaxed sectors into the tax net, steps are being taken to squeeze the existing tax payers. He said that the FBR which was established with an objective to facilitate the trade and industry but it has now been turned into a money making machine and the people sitting at the helm are not only unaware of the ground realities but are least concerned about the problems and the day-to-day challenges being faced by the businessmen.
LCCI President also said that at a time when both the trade and industry were looking for a relief package to run their businesses, they are being pushed to the wall by issuing SROs like SRO 608(I)/2014.
He said that business community understands well that a quantum jump in Tax-to-GDP ratio is in dire need but it also believes that this objective could only be achieved through facilitation of existing businesses instead of playing arm-twisting with them.