This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed “Zero-rating of sales tax on export-oriented sectors: It cannot be revived” carried by the newspaper yesterday. The writer, former chairman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Syed Shabbar Zaidi, has argued, among other things, that restoring zero-rating for export-oriented sectors will be regressive. Although his is a cogent and convincing argument, he can be accused of showing his “anti-business” and “anti-export” bias against the industrial sectors involved in production of export-oriented goods. Interestingly, his argument has coincided by an identical approach taken by the ministry of finance in response to a zero-rating proposal from the exporters, mainly those belonging to the textile sector. Be that as it may, it is quite interesting to note that a former FBR chairman and the ministry of finance are on the same page insofar as the zero-rating issue is concerned. The question is whether Shabbar Zaidi is still associated with the government in some informal capacity.
YASIR ABBAS (KARACHI)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021