KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may remove the mandatory condition from the invoice and packing list in the containers for further review and customs clearance.
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Asim Ahmad during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday responded on the issue of placement of invoice and packing list in the imported cargo containers.
The FBR Chairman, while fully agreeing with the business community, said that the FBR is well aware of this issue and has conducted a thorough exercise to understand it in light of global practices and found the concerns of the valid business world. “The FBR was studying the possibility of withdrawing this condition,” according to a statement published by the KCCI quoting the president of the FBR.
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Regarding customs valuation, he said that the whole valuation process is being overhauled and will follow the international market-based concept and the relevant law in this regard has already been amended. .
Several international publications regularly displayed prices of different types of yarn from several origins/countries which will be electronically linked to the revamped valuation system in which the valuations will regularly conform to current international yarn prices, he added during a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday.
The Chairman of the FBR, while referring to the concerns expressed regarding unnecessary/illegal raids, assured to discuss the issue with DG Customs Intelligence and advised members of the business community to bring all cases of unjustified raids to the attention of the FBR so that measures can be taken accordingly. A circular was also issued on October 19 in which all FBR field formations were strictly advised not to conduct raids.
Commenting on emerging issues due to exemptions on import of black tea for FATA, PATA and Azad Kashmir, Asim Ahmed agreed that the exemptions were being misused but these exemptions will end on June 30, 2023. FBR has devised a mechanism last year in which, quota was fixed for these areas according to their production capacity. “It is now the stakeholders who should tell the RBF whether the situation has improved or not.” In response, the importers concerned indicated that the reverse was the case as imports had increased in these regions.
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Addressing the issue of placement of invoice and packing list in containers of imported goods, Chairman FBR, while fully concurring with Chairman BMG’s remarks, stated that FBR was well aware of this issue and carried out an exercise. thorough to understand it in the light of world practices and judging the concerns of the business community founded, the FBR considered the possibility of withdrawing this condition.
He further mentioned that the withholding tax on inbound remittances from the penetrators commission was reduced from 5% to 1% in this year’s budget, while the 13% sales tax paid to the Treasury provincial will be discussed with the Sindh Revenue Board.
The president said some delays in releasing reimbursement requests are occurring, but a tranche was recently released on November 2. The business community should submit refund requests with care, as many refund requests are delayed if marked as deferred by the system.
“The FASTER system worked smoothly, but if anyone is facing delays in receiving refunds, they can seek help from FBR,” he added.
He also advised all Chief Commissioners to maintain full coordination and liaison with the Karachi Chamber so that the grievances faced by the business community to resolve their tax issues can be minimized. He also promised to address the period issues faced by yarn traders who are not allowed to seek refunds for 14 months while the 7.5% difference in duties/taxes between commercial and industrial importers of yarn of polyester will also be reduced.
Businessmen Group Chairman Zubair Motiwala, BMG Vice President Jawed Bilwani, KCCI President Muhammed Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Muhammad Haris Agar, Former Presidents Younus Muhammad Bashir, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra and Muhammad Idrees, Former President Vice President Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, President Site Association of Industry Riaz Uddin, Customs-Operations FBR Member Mukarram Jha Ansari, Chief Commissioner Dr. Aftab Imam and KCCI Management Committee along with senior officials of FBR were also present at the meeting.
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BMG Chairman Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, highly appreciated the current RBF team for their extraordinary efforts in handling the FATF issue which resulted in the removal of Pakistan from the gray list. He said: “Things are moving in a positive direction with regard to RBF, but some issues have remained chronic for so many years and these have not been resolved by RBF. All these problems, which are barely 4 to 5 in number, with no major impact on the turnover, must be solved at the earliest for the companies like the economy to start performing.
He said that Chapters 84 and 85 had completely halted all work and that it was of great concern that around 7,000 applications were in the possession of KCCI and were pending solely due to delays in processing. endorsement by the State Bank of Pakistan. . Stopping imports of essential raw materials, spare parts and even solar panels made no sense that needed to be allowed to keep the industrial wheels turning uninterrupted.
Zubair Motiwala was of the opinion that around US$3-4 billion remain parked overseas which people just don’t want to remit to Pakistan due to exorbitant indentation commission taxes, hence these taxes should be removed so that desperately needed foreign exchange reserves could be brought into Pakistan.
Appreciating FBR’s decision to revamp the rating system, Zubair Motiwala advised to speed up the process in order to relieve the business community. “As the country is facing serious energy crises, the import of solar panels should be allowed without any hindrance, which would be of great service to this nation,” he said, adding that about 650 vehicles which have already been imported and were at the ports must also be cleared by lowering the newly imposed 100% additional duty at the earliest.
On the occasion, BMG Vice President Jawed Bilwani said that the FASTER system for claims was working perfectly after its launch, but the business community now faces many problems to get their claims issued on time. , which often creates a liquidity problem and needs to be addressed. “By law, all refund requests must be processed within 72 hours so that the business world does not face any liquidity problems.”
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KCCI Chairman Tariq Yousuf, while welcoming FBR Chairman, pointed out that Karachi’s share of GDP is about $165 billion, or 43% of Pakistan’s national economic size and is expected to reach $193 billion in 2025. “Karachi’s role in Pakistan’s economic growth has been phenomenal and is growing at a blistering pace. However, the persistent economic problems, high cost of doing business and tax issues have affected the productive capacity of the private sector whose competitiveness has deteriorated,” he added.
He was of the view that the high amount of tax cost for businesses, especially SMEs, should be a matter of great concern for policymakers as it has affected Pakistan’s growth potential.
While appreciating BMG Chairman Zubair Motiwala for his outstanding work as Chairman of Business Anomalies Committee, he said that upon various recommendations agreed by the then Finance Minister and FBR Chairman with his team, from many issues were still outstanding that need to be resolved urgently. to create an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth.