KARACHI: Investors at Karachi Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) are facing difficulties in payment of taxes and duties attributable to unavailability of tax collection booth within export processing zone.
Currently, over 270 trading and industrial units are operational in the KEPZ, however, they have to travel about 15 kilometer for payment of taxes and duties as nearest tax collection booth is at Karachi Airport.
Asif Sheikh Javaid former convener of FPCCI Central Committee on Export Processing Zone has written a letter to Federal Minister for Finance Hammad Azhar and highlighted the issue being faced by investors of the KEPZ and urged for setup of a National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) tax collection booth within export processing zone to facilitate the trading and industrial units.
Hundreds of shipments are moving from KEPZ every week and their goods declarations (GDs) are being filed and processed at KEPZ customs. However, the traders and agents have to travel to Karachi’s old Airport on daily basis to pay duty, taxes, stamp fee and infrastructure Cess at NBP Airport Booth which is miles away from the KEPZ.
Asif Sheikh informed that after payment of taxes and duties at NBP airport booth, the GDs are again required at KEPZ for further processing and shipment release. The commute between KEPZ and old airport is of around 30 KMs (up / down) which is indeed a big hassle and time consuming for the traders and agents, especially during the routine traffic jams on this route.
He said setting up of NBP collection booth within KEPZ would truly be a big relief to traders and agents and will help to make timely tax payment and smooth sailing of shipments from KEPZ.
He further informed that with efforts from the different platforms, now the NBP and Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) are agreed to setup a tax collection booth within the promises of KEPZ. However, the setting up of booth is being delayed as term and condition among two institutions could not be finalized.
Asif that on FPCCI’s initiative, NBP and EPZA had meetings and various discussions for creation of the said booth within KEPZ and both are also agreed to the proposal. Moreover, EPZA has also offered an office space to NBP for the purpose. However, the matter is reportedly being held up due to some monthly rent asked by EPZA.
Asif Sheikh has requested Hammad Azhar to issue directives for setting up a tax collection booth within EPZA in the larger interest of trade from KEPZ.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021