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ISLAMABAD: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has strongly recommended to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to immediately defer policy of switching over to the digital mode of payments for four months period, as it is not possible for the business community to adopt it from November 1, 2021.

The FPCCI has also approached the FBR chairman for constitution of a "committee" on "digital means" and issue definition of "digital means" to avoid ambiguity and interpretational issues. In a communication to the FBR, the FPCCI has apprehended that the security of post-dated-cheques, used as a means to ensure payments due against sales on credit, would not be available after switching over to the digital mode of payments.

According to a letter of the FPCCI to the FBR chairman on Tuesday, refer to the amendment made in clause (I) section 21 and intersection of the clause (la) in the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 to the corporate taxpayers to switch over to the digital mode of payments under Tax Laws (3rd Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, the last date of which has been extended by FBR till October 31, 2021.

The FPCCI stated that the FBR chairman is well aware that the federation has multiple meetings since last year when you were not the chairman of the FBR.

In every meeting, we had requested the FBR to include the FPCCI in the policy-drafting phase or at least take our point of view, prior to formulating any policy for the business community. But unfortunately, every time the FBR is neglecting the FPCCI and impose the amendment on the businessmen without taking their point of view.

KTBA calls FBR's digital payments measure 'anti-business, contradictory'

"Let us know on which grounds the FBR makes such policies because due to such kind of policies, the business community has been facing serious issues in their working environment," the FPCCI stated. Due to above cited amendment "digital means," the business community has been facing following issues:

(i) Currently post-dated-cheques are used as a means to ensure payments due against sales on credit. Under the proposed "digital means", it would appear that this security will no longer be available to suppliers, and buyers may have to pay in advance.

(ii) The FBR needs to ensure that all suppliers/service providers accept this mode of payment, especially in the case of individuals or Association of Persons (AoPs).

(iii) A precise and concise definition of the term "digital means" needs to be provided by the FBR to avoid ambiguity and interpretational issues.

The FPCCI strongly recommended the FBR to defer this policy for four months and immediately form a "committee" on "digital means" comprising FBR officials and the FPCCI representative to make this policy business friendly because currently, it is not possible for the business community to adopt this policy, the FPCCI added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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Saulat Bari Khan Oct 27, 2021 10:29pm
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