ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday proposed 55 recommendations and changes in the Finance Bill 2023 including the abolition of super tax and gradual imposition of taxes on the real estate and agricultural sectors.
Moreover, the Senate has also submitted 31 recommendations regarding the public sector development programme.
The recommendations on the Finance Bill, 2023 would be forwarded to the National Assembly which would decide whether or not these recommendations are to be incorporated into the money bill.
During the session of the upper house of the parliament on Monday, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, presented the Senate’s budget recommendations and changes in the Finance Bill 2023.
The Senate recommended to the National Assembly that a tax of 12 percent of the sale on retailers and brands who are registered with the FBR should be maintained, instead of increasing it to 15 percent.
In the case of filers, it was proposed that tax on credit card transactions should be increased from one per cent to five per cent, and for non-filers and two per cent to 10 per cent for non-filers to be maintained at previous rates.
It has been proposed to gradually impose taxes on the real estate and agricultural sectors.
The Senate has recommended that the super tax should be abolished or withdrawn.
The Senate has recommended not to block company bank accounts without prior notice and remove barriers in the refund of funds of income tax and sales tax. It has been further proposed to declare generators with a capacity of up to 2 kilowatts as tax-free while refunds of input tax should be eligible for reimbursement at a rate of five percent for the IT sector and shares of IT sector companies should be exempted from capital gains tax.
The Senate proposed to take effective measures for the development of renewable energy sectors in the country and promote skill development.
Government institutions working in loss should be audited, and reform action should be taken against institutions such as Pakistan Steel Mills, which have been incurring heavy losses for years.
Under the laptop scheme, mandatory technical training should be provided to those who purchase laptops so that they can earn income through online businesses.
Income-generating industries should be given tax exemptions and provided with gas supply. It has been proposed to establish tax-free zones for foreign direct investment and rationalise the subsidy mechanism for seeds, fertilisers, solar energy devices, and essential food items.
The Senate proposed to ensure the availability of all items at discounted prices in Utility Stores, allocate funds for the National Development Volunteer Program in the 2023-24 budget, increase the allocated budget for the healthcare sector and remove customs duties on income from lawn tennis rackets, badminton rackets, squash rackets, lawn tennis balls, squash balls, table tennis balls, badminton shuttlecocks, and basketballs.
It suggested to increase the television fee collected in electricity bills from Rs35 to Rs50 per month and allocate an additional Rs15 for Radio Pakistan to meet its financial needs. It suggested to designate Gwadar as a tax-free zone and release remaining funds for the Gwadar Development Authority.
The Senate proposed that steel mills should be allowed to purchase local scrap and reduce the withholding tax rate on scrap supply to 0.25 per cent.
It recommended to allocate Rs104 billion for regional competitive energy tariffs in future budgets and to abolish federal excise duty for the juice industry besides exemption on agricultural sprayers from taxes.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023