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KARACHI: Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) Dr. Wasif Ali Memon has said that as the Sindh Government has drastically reduced Sindh Sales Tax on IT, software businesses and call centres from 13 percent to just 3 percent, all relevant businesses which moved to other provinces, should come back to Karachi where they will enjoy the lowest sales tax as compared to other provinces.

“IT-related businessmen from Karachi Chamber whose peer businessmen moved to Lahore or any other city, must advise them to get back to Karachi where they will be charged a mere 3 percent ST without input tax whereas large establishments which prefer standard rate with input tax credit, have the option of to opt 13 percent with input tax credit facilities”, he added while exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

Dr. Wasif stated that SRB performed exceptionally well during the last fiscal year wherein record-breaking Rs155 billion tax was collected; therefore, the government has given an ambitious tax collection target of Rs180 billion for current fiscal year which can only be achieved through the support and cooperation of Karachi’s business community which was highly tax-compliant.

“Despite the outbreak of COVID pandemic and extraordinary spells of rainfalls which terribly affected many businesses, the business community of Karachi has been regularly and sincerely paying taxes to SRB which we greatly acknowledge,” he added.

He said that although Karachi contributes highest taxes to SRB but the activities of SRB were not confined to this city only, as SRB’s regional offices have also been opened in Hyderabad, Benazirabad, Larkana, Sukkur and Mirpurkhas while an SRB office in Ghotki will also be inaugurated soon.

In response to President KCCI’s suggestion, Chairman SRB agreed to form a joint SRB-KCCI Committee along with provision of direct helpline to KCCI members so that all their taxation issues could be promptly resolved.

Chairman BMG, in his remarks, pointed out that although Karachi contributes 94 percent taxes to SRB but it was really unfortunate that this city was not receiving sufficient development funds according to its matchless contribution which has resulted in miserably bringing down the standards of living and doing business in Karachi. “What we contribute to provincial kitty is always being highlighted and appreciated but what we get in return never comes into limelight which is very disturbing. Neither from federal government nor from provincial government, Karachi receives its due share”, he noted, adding that the injustices with this city must and brought to an end now.

He stressed that keeping in view Karachi’s contribution of more than 70 percent to national exchequer and 95 percent to provincial kitty, it was high time that Karachi must receive what it deserves. Due to lack to development funds, Karachi’s infrastructure was in awful state and the same has been witnessed by the entire world during the current Monsoon season. “SRB should also have access to information about the expenditure of revenue so that we could compare revenue generation with expenditure”, he added.

Earlier, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, while welcoming Chairman SRB, appreciated SRB’s all-time seriousness towards resolving issues being highlighted by KCCI which were promptly being responded and amicably resolved by SRB officials. “However, there are several pending taxation issues related to indenting businesses, travel agents and other businesses along with anomalies in SRB laws which also need to be extensively discussed and resolved in light of ground realities.”

To efficiently deal with all the SRB related taxation issues and revision in relevant laws, it was very crucial to form a joint committee between KCCI and SRB so these could be discussed and resolved in such a manner that the measures agreed upon result in bringing down the tax rates which would not bring down but in fact increase the provincial revenue as large number of taxpayers will certainly prefer to get registered in Sindh.

He said that thanks to KCCI’s rigorous efforts, the federal government has finally realized and agreed to treat the income of indenters as exports proceeds hence, the same must also be announced by SRB which would help minimizing the hardships being faced by indenters who were being charged heavy taxes on marginal commissions.

He appreciated the Sindh Government for paying attention to KCCI’s demand to reduce Sindh ST on IT, Software Businesses and Call Centres which would encourage a large segment of businesses to register the businesses in Sindh.

The meeting was also attended by Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala (Via Zoom), Vice Chairman BMG Jawed Bilwani, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain, Former President Younus Bashir, Advisor SRB Mushtaq Kazmi and KCCI Managing Committee Members along with senior SRB officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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