Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile and Industries Abdul Razak Dawood has announced that the government has finalised a five-year national tariff policy aimed at restricting duties on raw material and machinery imports for export-based industries.
“We are making efforts to rationalise certain taxes and regulatory and customs duties,” he said. “At present, there exists roughly 34 different taxes and the government is planning to reduce them to 12 or eight in the next couple of years.”
It would assist the leadership to remove a key impediment in the way of ease of doing business, the adviser emphasised, adding that he was well aware of the challenges faced by the business community regarding tax slabs and tariff lines.
Addressing the ‘Emerging Pakistan’ ceremony organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) at the Jinnah Convention Centre, Dawood highlighted that the government, in its first 100 days, had initiated reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and transformed its functioning.
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“We have decided to withdraw policy functions from the FBR,” he said, adding that from now on, the finance ministry would be formulating the policy in consultation with key stakeholders including the business community.
He assured the RCCI of complete cooperation in fulfilling its demand of converting the old airport building into a modern expo centre and installation of a grid station for the Rawat Industrial Estate.
The adviser voiced hope that people would notice a genuine change on the economic front in the next 30 days as major changes had been made keeping in view the policy matters pertaining to taxation, exports, refunds, regulatory and customs duties and incentives to business community with respect to the ease of doing business.
“Renowned companies of the world including ExxonMobil, Pepsi and Suzuki have pledged additional investment in Pakistan,” he pointed out.
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Earlier, RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem, in his address, emphasised that the major aim of the event was to discuss current economic challenges, decline in exports, taxation and promoting a positive image of Pakistan.
He was of the view that Pakistan’s economy was taking a leap and hence, the country needed an environment conducive to investment.
He urged the government to tackle the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the business corridors and provide maximum assistance and incentives for broadening the tax net.
He termed private sector the backbone of exports, pressing the government to address its grievances at the earliest. Major issues highlighted were sales tax refunds, rupee depreciation, rising interest rate and high regulatory duties on raw material.