LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) Monday urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to reduce General Sales Tax (GST) rate to single digit as existing rate was obstructing the trade and industry growth.
Talking to a delegation of Shahalam Market led by Chaudhry Wajid Ali here, Lahore Chamber's President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that existing 17 percent GST rate was not only one of the main reasons of high cost of doing business but also encouraging tax evasion.
He suggested that GST rate should be brought down to a single digit.
Sheikh Arshad urged the bureaucracy to facilitate business community as businessmen wanted to put in their share in country's economic development provided they were treated fairly. He said that huge revenue target set for next financial year could be achieved only through resolving the issues being faced by taxpayers.
He mentioned that LCCI had prepared budget proposals after consultation with other Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the country.
"The LCCI in its budget proposals has demanded of the government to resolve the issues of Income Tax, Sales Tax, Customs Duty and Federal Excise duty etc at the earliest," he added. Business community, he said, wanted broad based reforms in taxation system in consultation with private sector.
He said that withholding tax regime needed to be reviewed and withholding agents should be given certain incentives.
He demanded the Federal Board of Revenue that all the backlog of refunds should be cleared within two months upon the filing of returns.
Similarly, banking bonds might be issued for large amount of refunds withheld since years.
The LCCI President urged the FBR to select the audit on the basis of parameters by FBR through random balloting rather than allowing the concerned commissioners to use their discretionary powers.
Federal and provincial sales tax authorities should agree on constitution of fully empowered National Tax Commission to bring in harmony in the sales tax laws dealing with services.
On this occasion, Chaudhry Wajid Ali and Khawaja Amir stressed the need for resolving the issues of valuation and smuggling.
The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed, Mubasher Sheikh, Muhammad Haroon Arora, Malik Munir, Mian Waqar, Khalid Butt, Haji Farrukh Iqbal and Chaudhry Shahzad also spoke on this occasion.