Lahore: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has said that it was not the right time for withdrawal of tax exemptions from various sectors and an addition to the discretionary powers of tax machinery.
In a statement on Friday, the LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that the government has withdrawn tax exemptions of Rs140 billion and has also introduced more than 75 amendments in tax rules and regulations.
They felt that some amendments have conferred discretionary powers to the tax collection machinery which would create problems for the business community. They said that discretionary powers have always remained a matter of concern for the businessmen.
They said that after new amendments, shop owners will be fined Rs5,000 for not displaying tax numbers. There will be Rs5,000 fine for those not filing tax returns or wealth statements.
The LCCI office-bearers said that the government has withdrawn tax exemption for fresh graduates and investment companies. They said that Pakistan’s IT exports are stagnant around $1.4 billion. Any change in tax exemptions for the IT sector would hamper its export competitiveness.
The LCCI office-bearers said that trade and industry is going through difficult challenges to the Covid-19 which has already caused huge loss the business community.
They said that the countries around the world have announced special incentives and supporting measures for their trade and industry in the wake of the pandemic.
They said that relief measures like tax exemptions always lead to an increase in local and foreign investment and governments receive many times more taxes.
The LCCI office-bearers said that at this time when entire trade and industry is trying hard to back on to feet, such measures would put a reverse gear to their all efforts.
They also feared that withdrawal of tax exemption and discretionary powers to the tax machinery will put a halt to the investment which would hit the revenue targets of the government.