- Prime Minister chairs review meeting on supply and demand of basic commodities and construction materials
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday directed all concerned authorities to take every possible step for ensuring uninterrupted supply as per the demand for raw materials used in construction as well as basic commodities like ghee and to ensure stability in the prices of these commodities.
The Prime Minister chaired a review meeting on supply and demand of basic commodities and construction materials and price stability. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Industries and Production Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Chairman New Pakistan Housing Authority Lt Gen (retd) Anwar Ali Haider, and other senior officials.
The meeting reviewed the demand supply situation of cement and its prices in the country.
The meeting also reviewed supply and demand of basic commodities such as ghee.
The prime minister said that uninterrupted progress in the development of the construction sector, especially in the construction of low cost houses, is the top priority of the government.
He said that every possible step should be taken to ensure uninterrupted supply as per the demand for raw materials used in construction as well as basic commodities such as ghee and to ensure stability in the prices of these commodities.
About the raw materials used in the construction sector, sources said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has recently fixed values of locally-produced steel and scrap products for collection of sales tax during 2021-22.
The FBR has fixed Rs140,000 per metric ton value of steel bars and other long profiles; Rs125,000 per metric ton steel billets; Rs120,000 per metric ton value on steel ingots/Bala; Rs120,000 per metric ton value on the ship plates and sales tax value has been fixed at Rs118,000 per metric ton on other re-rollable iron and steel scrap.
The FBR has also provided certain incentives to the developers and builders of the construction industry including tax benefits for the real estate investment trust (REIT) schemes under the Finance Act 2021. The prime minister's construction package issued through the Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 was also been made part of the Finance Act 2021.
In the last budget (2021-22), duties were exempted/reduced on the Hot Rolled Coil (HRC), an intermediary raw material for a wide range of industries. In order to reduce the cost of doing business, customs duty and additional customs duty on import of flat rolled products of HRC and stainless steel (PCT codes 72.08, 72.18, 72.19, 72.20) and Alloy steel falling under PCT codes 7225.1100, 7225.1900, 7225.3000, 7225.4000, 7226.1100, 7226.1900, 7226.2000 & 7226.9100 have been exempted. Further RD on flat rolled steel products falling under PCT codes 72.08, 7225.1100, reduced to uniform rate of 5% from existing 6% & 11%.
The FBR has directed manufacturers of tobacco, sugar, fertiliser, cement, and beverages to obtain brand registration certificates from the FBR for selling their products in the market. Ghee and cooking oil industry had informed the government that the taxation measures taken in Budget 2021-22 have resulted in increase in prices of the commodity. First, vide section 3(I) of the Sales Tax Act 1990, three percent further tax has been imposed on sales made to the un-registered persons. Second, the section 8B of the Sales Tax Act 1990 allows only 90 percent input tax adjustment to the manufacturers on their sales, other than public listed companies.
Third, the withholding tax (WHT) @ 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent has been imposed on sales tax made to wholesalers/distributors.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021