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BUDGET FY 2018-19 – Major losers and gainers

From LNG to coal, livestock to stationery, every sector and every type of business enterprise has been showered with exemptions and tax reductions. While chemicals and oil and gas sectors appear to be gainers, steel, construction, real estate, leather and automotive sector will be major losers. This article aims to analyze the impact of budget on various sectors:

Oil and gas

The Finance Act has waived the 3% value addition tax on import of LNG. Rate of sales tax was reduced from 17 to 12% on import of LNG by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) and on supply of RLNG by these companies to Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited. The rate of sales tax on import and supplies of furnace oil was reduced to 17% from 20%.

It also introduces a uniform rate of 3% sales tax on all fertilizers across the board and to provide for reduced rate from 10% to 5% on supply of natural gas to fertilizer plants for use as feed stock. Moreover, rate of sales tax on LNG imported by fertilizer manufacturers for use as feed stock is also being exempted.

Agriculture

It was proposed to exempt 17% sales tax to fans for dairy farms, preparations for making animal feed and bovine semen. Likewise, 10% sales tax on fish feed has been exempted. Moreover, sales tax on agriculture machinery is also reduced from 7% to 5%. Zero rating on import of potato is being granted retrospectively on 200,000 metric tonnes imported during the period May 5, 2014 to July 31, 2014.

Steel/Copper

The rate of sales tax for steel sector is being increased to Rs13 per unit of electricity consumed. Moreover, the rate of sales tax for other allied steel industries–ship breakers and re-rollers is also being rationalized. The duty was slashed from 10 to 5% on silicon electrical steel sheets for manufacturing transformers. The regulatory duty of 30% is imposed on export of waste and scrap of copper. (The total import of these products is almost Rs100bn per annum).

 

Electronic appliances

Specified LED parts and components for manufacturers of LED lights got exempted from 5% duty. A 2% regulatory duty imposed on LED bulb &tubes, energy saving bulbs & tube to protect local industry. The duty reduces from 50 to 25% along with exemption of 15% regulatory duty on electric vehicles. The duty also reduces from 50 to 25% on kits of electric vehicle. The facility of import of solar panels which were exempted from the condition of ‘local manufacturing’ are extended for another one year until June 30, 2019. The regulatory duty has been reduced from 20 to 10% on CKD/SKD kits of home appliances. The regulatory duty on finished home appliances are 20%. New PCT codes are created for CKD/SKD of home appliances, petrol generating sets, semi-automatic washing machines, kerosene based mineral oils, relays, fuses, gear pumps and turbo chargers for vehicles, electric conductors, light fittings with fixed/fitted LED/SMD.Regulatory duty imposed at the rate of Rs175 per set on CKD/SKD kits of mobile phone.

Computers/Accessories

Sales tax is also exempted on import of 21 types of computer parts, and promotional, advertising materials for display at exhibitions. Customs duty was reduced to 5% across the board on input materials of optical fiber cables besides reduction of regulatory duty to 10% from 20%.

Film industry

To encourage and promote film-making in Pakistan, 50% tax rebate will be allowed to foreign film makers making films in Pakistan and a 50% tax reduction in income tax liability will be allowed to companies deriving income from film making for a period of five years. Sales tax reduced to 5% from 17% on import of 19 items of cinematographic equipment for revival of film industry for five years.

Apart from the above, the tax rate on import of coal by manufacturers as well as commercial importers has been reduced to 4% for filers and 6% for non-filers. Exemption is being granted to Karachi Shipyard Engineering Works Limited on import of machinery, equipment, raw materials, components etc. The budget also proposes extending tax credit on investment on plant and machinery up to 2022. The extension of tax incentive on BMR investment up to 2021 and 20-year tax holiday on deep conversion oil refinery is also a positive step.

The writer is a Karachi based freelance columnist and is a banker by profession. He could be reached on Twitter @ReluctantAhsan

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