Abdullah Yusuf, Chairman Central Board of Revenue (CBR)
conducted a series of brain storming sessions with the industrialists,
traders, and the businessmen representing different trade bodies to give
a clear message for developing a strong partnership between the CBR and
the private sector. During his three-day stay in Karachi, the Chairman
CBR had long sessions with the representatives of the Federation of
Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Karachi Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Korangi Association of Trade and Industry
(KATI), and SITE Association of Industry.
During one of such session held at SITE Association
of Industry, Abdullah Yousuf elaborated the role of the CBR focusing at
development of a conducive environment for the businessmen,
industrialists and the traders. The environment, which can help business
community to escalate their economic activities, productions and can
The target for economic growth rate at 12 per cent
can only be achieved only after creating a conducive environment in
consistent manner. He added, "if we take a cursory look at our
history, we would find 1960s" golden decade in which the export of
Pakistan was higher than the Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.
While lauding the present economic policies, Chairman
CBR pointed out that consistency in the policies was the key for success
and can only guarantee improving growth rate of the national economy.
"We should think and move together for creating an environment the
economy need to flourish, for which a collective approach was imperative
instead of thinking in individual terms," he advised.
The CBR also desire to learn from industrialists'
experiences, he said in a modest way and urged the industrialists to
come forward with their suggestions for the good of the economy. The
time is not far ahead when the private sector in Pakistan had to compete
with other business partners on merit to dedicate more on competency,
quality of product, as the survival will be only for the fittest.
CBR on its part was endeavoring to make customs
evaluation on Self-Assessment (SAS) basis. He said that the income tax
has become a self-assessment tax and "At Customs, we are trying to
do the same, we have a long way to go but we will find answers to all
the problems", the Chairman CBR remarked confidently. Regarding
DTRE regime, the chairman CBR said unfortunately the DTRE is not
successful and there is a strong needs to revamp this as it has lot of
anomalies. "I request you to come forward and draft the procedure
of DTRE and then we will sit together and make it practical because it
is you who has to prepare the document", he said.
He also asked the industrialists to come up with
suggestions to check smuggling by preparing a report proposing tariff
measures and other practical solutions that can help minimize smuggling.
On a question, he revealed that 100 audit cases out
of some 400 were resolved and remaining were under process, which would
be finalized in the coming days. However, he admitted that some audit
cases were delayed by the department and maintained that the concerned
department was working with the lack of infrastructure, but performing
Nisar Ahmed Shekhani, Chairman, SITE Association
while paying glowing tributes to the Ministry of Finance as well as the
CBR in make a wonderful budget for the fiscal year 2004-05, remarked
that the rhetoric's were transformed into practical measures.
SITE Chairman observed that with improved tax
culture, a high economic growth has begun to yield more revenues. In
order to strengthen the current trend the tax policy has to be
investment-oriented, he urged the Chairman CBR.
The current high sales tax rate was a major issue for
the potential investors seeking level playing field so that
manufacturing costs can be brought down and be more competitive under a
liberalized import regime under WTO from January 1, 2005. Some issue has
not been addressed for strengthening the trade relations.
The SMEs have certainly been exempted from paying
sales tax on their sale/turnover but they are liable to pay. The
industrialists were of the opinion that the policy guideline given in
the trade policy recently announced by the federal commerce minister
would certainly pave the way for the business community to hit the goals
set by the government for the current financial year.