Business community of Pakistan is against unconstitutional policies: FPCCI

Section 203A has been amended through the introduction of slabs, powers to arrest and prosecute will create a fearful and discouraging environment.

KARACHI: Acting President FPCCI has said that the business community of Pakistan is against the unbalanced policies that have been in practice in the country for long; which are favoring the elite and interest groups; and, promote corruption in government departments and business community.

Mr. Nasir Khan highlighted a few issues, which have been created within the business community, for example, through the Finance Bill 2021-22, Federal Excise Regime to shift to Sales Tax Regime. Prior to this amendment, Federal Excise Duty (FED) at 17 percent was applicable on import of raw materials at import stage vide Table 1 to first schedule to read with section 3 of Federal Excise Act, 2005; which now has been withdrawn and now raw material shall be levied and charged with Sales Tax at 17 percent.

Mr. Nasir Khan said that due to the current shift, the units located in FATA/PATA areas will enjoy the Tax benefits of around 25 percent, including exemption from Sales Tax in value addition mode. Such financial benefits are only creating a huge incentive for the misuse of the facilities and create an uneven field of doing business in the country.

Mr. Nasir Khan added that this year FPCCI presented a growth model and suggested various possible measures to improve government revenues, economic growth, and national prosperity through expanded and enhanced participation from all segments of the economy. However, our proposals for economic growth have not been given any importance. Instead, various policy measures have been announced in the budget policy that completely violates human rights. Section 203A of the budget, which empowers and expands the discretionary powers of FBR, would only result in an increase in corruption and harassment. Although Section 203A has been amended through the introduction of slabs, powers to arrest and prosecute will create a fearful and discouraging environment.

Mr. Nasir Khan maintained that the provisions should be added to make FBR accountable if it cannot establish any corruption or tax evasion, which is evident that 95 percent of cases are dropped in apex courts. He added that the major reason of people not registering themselves in the tax net is due to harassment and corruption of FBR, he added.