A convention of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Trade Associations from all over Pakistan was organized by Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Monday 27th February’2017, to discuss and formulate a joint strategy to seek resolution of issues and problems faced by trade and industry all over Pakistan due to harassment, extortion and arm-twisting by the taxation authorities having immense discretionary powers and utter disregard for the budget proposals submitted by the chambers and associations every year. The Chambers and Associations which participated and represented in the convention included all major Chambers and Trade & Industry associations and their nominated representatives who provided their views, suggestions and input for the joint strategy to counter arbitrary and unilateral approach of FBR officials, policy-makers and Ministry of Finance.
After due deliberations, participants of the convention have agreed on a joint strategy and issued the following decisions:
1. All the Chambers and Trade Associations, signatory to this communique will not submit any proposals or recommendations for the Federal Budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018.
2. The Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue are hereby urged to first implement Budgetary Proposals which were submitted by the participant chambers and associations during the last 4 (Four) financial years since these were entirely ignored and disregarded. Therefore the submission of any new proposals would be an exercise in futility.
3. The participants urged the Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue to withdraw the draconian provisions and laws giving immense discretionary powers acquired through last four Finance Bills, to the officers of Inland Revenue and field formations which is a core issue and resulting in hardship, loss of productivity and mental torture to the business community. These laws have kept a large number of potential tax-payers out of the tax regime. In fact these laws are a deterrent to broadening of tax-base and resulted in promoting the culture of tax-evasion.
4. All chambers and associations who had given their input and taken part in the proceedings of Tax Reforms Commission formed by the Government with the commitment that its recommendations will be implemented in letter and spirit, have expressed their dismay and disappointment over the failure to adopt the recommendations on which a complete and total consensus was evolved among stakeholders, government functionaries, FBR officials and tax professionals. The commitment to implement these recommendations be fulfilled immediately.
5. The Chambers and trade bodies further suggested that no changes should be made in tax laws including Income Tax Ordinance 2001, Sales Tax Act 1990, Customs Act 1969 and Federal Excise Act, through the Finance Bills. Finance Bill should be confined to the budgetary and fiscal measures only. Any changes in the tax laws and provisions should be tabled through separate Bills in the parliament and passed after necessary debate and consultation with stakeholders.
6. All Chambers and trade bodies strongly denounced the misuse of discretionary powers by the officers of IR under Sections 38A, 38B, 40A, 40B, 176 and 177. We also urge the government to withdraw these sections immediately and restrict the enforcement of the said sections. Otherwise the government will be responsible for the consequences which may force us to go to any humanly possible means and actions which may have negative ramifications for the revenue.
In case these demands are not accepted by the authorities concerned, the participant chambers and associations will resort to all possible lines of action within their rights including remedy from competent courts of law to have their legitimate demands accepted to withdraw the discretionary powers of the FBR and officers of Inland Revenue.
LIST OF CHAMBERS’ AND ASSICIATIONS:
1. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan/ Vice President
2. Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Raja Ameer Iqbal/ President
3. Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Khalid Iqbal Malik/ President
4. Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Saeed Ahmed Taj/ President
5. Sahiwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Ch. Muhammad Hussain Zahid/ Former President
6. Rahim Yar Khan Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Mohammad Shoukat Hayat Khan/ Senior Vice President
7. Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Turab Ali Khoja/ Acting President
8. Mirpurkhas Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Ahmed Saeed Qaimkhani Advocate/ President
9. Sukkur Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Muhammad Ahmed Iqbal / Executive Committee member
10. Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Rao Anees-ur-Rehman/ Member Finance
11. Shikarpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Mr. Al-Hajj Dhani Buksh Memon/ President
12. Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Badar-e-Munir Patel/ Senior Vice President
13. Larkana Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Khair Muhammad Shaikh/ President
14. Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association/ Abdullah Zaki/ Chairman
15. Travel Agents Association of Pakistan/ Muhammad Naeem Sharif/ Chairman
16. All Pakistan Security Agencies Association/ Muffasar Atta Malik/ Chairman
17. Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan/ Muhammad Ayub/ Chairman
18. Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association/ Danish Hafiz/ Chairman
19. Pakistan Chemical Dyes and Merchants Association/ Sohail Ashraf, Vice Chairman
20. Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association Multan, Dr. Jassu Mal/ Chairman
21. Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association, Ehtisham-ud-din, Chairman
22. All Pakistan Flour Mills Association/ Chaudhry Ansar Javed/ Former Chairman
23. Pakistan Automobiles Spare Parts Importers & Dealers Association/ Arshad Islam/ Patron-in-Chief & Former Chairman
24. Pakistan Dry Battery Manufacturers Association/ Yasir Ahmed/ Secretary General
25. Pakistan Poultry Association/ Yousuf Mustafa/ Representative
26. Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association/ Izhar Ahmed/ Representative
27. Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association/ Muhammad Javed Bilwani/ Former Chairman
28. All Pakistan CNG Association/ Junaid Esmail Makda/ Former Central Chairman
29. Pakistan Fisheries Exporters Association/ Syed Ahmed/ Secretary General
30. All Pakistan Particleboards Manufacturers Association, Muhammad Bilal Jafrani/ Representative
31. All Pakistan Fruits 7 Vegetables Exporter, Importers & Merchants Association/ Aslam Pakhali/ Former Vice Chairman
32. Flexible Packaging Association of Converters of Pakistan/ Nasir Mehmood Rajori/ Secretary General