CBR: NEW STRATEGY
The board endeavors to develop strong partnership in private sector
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
July 26 - Aug 01, 2004
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 attract investments.
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 its jobs.
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.