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LAHORE: Compliance notices have been served on 200 retail outlets of leather, sports and textile goods, falling under the category of Tier-1 retailers, for mandatory registration with the Point of Sale (POS) integration of the Federal Board of Revenue.

Meanwhile, penalties, ranging between Rs0.5 million to Rs2 million, have been separately imposed against almost a dozen retailers for ignoring already issued notices despite providing reasonable opportunity. These outlets would be sealed off in the next step.

This was told by Additional Commissioner Tanveer Iqbal, functioning as Focal Person POS, Enforcement-II of CTO Lahore, during an exclusive interview with Business Recorder.

He said 114 retail outlets have been registered since 2019 within the domain of his enforcement, which would be doubled by the end of the second quarter of the current fiscal year. Besides, some 34 retailers have registered themselves with the Board during the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

He pointed out that the registration drive was hit hard by the spread of COVID-19 and only 32 cases were registered throughout 2019-20 and the remaining 82 retailers were pursued and registered up to 30th June 2021 soon after the restrictions were eased in the late 2020s.

Tanveer said the accuracy of surveys is the hallmark of all the efforts, and not a single retailer has challenged his selection for POS integration. The only excuse on the part of retailers is a lack of awareness about the law, therefore, a campaign has been launched to raise it at a large scale.

Besides, the Board has offered incentives like a reduced tax rate of 7 percent and a permission of charging Rs1 per invoice from consumers to meet service charges to encourage registration, he explained.

According to him, some 40 vendors have been approved by the Board for the installation of a POS integration system at the premises of retail outlets. The Board has left it to retailers and vendors to bargain the cost of the software. It will not offer any such services to retailers, he added.

The Additional Commissioner also explained that the internal teams of the enforcement were conducting random surveys of markets to identify Tier-1 retailers instead of outsourcing it.

Mentioning the irritants, he said, a lack of awareness, fear of harsh taxation and a general mindset against documentation of sales are three major bottlenecks. Therefore, our focus is more on registration through raising awareness than imposing penalties, he asserted.

Tier-1 retailer means a retailer operating as a unit of a national or international chain of stores, operating in an air-conditioned shopping mall, plaza or centre, excluding kiosks, whose cumulative electricity bill during the immediately preceding 12 consecutive months exceeds rupees twelve hundred thousand, a wholesaler-cum-retailer, engaged in bulk import and supply of consumer goods on a wholesale basis to the retailers as well as on retail basis to the general body of the consumers, a retailer, whose shop measures one thousand square feet in area or more; and any other person or class of persons as prescribed by the Board.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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