Karachi, March 08, 2016 (PPI-OT): Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, while assuring to give due consideration to Karachi Chamber’s Proposals for Sindh Budget 2016-17, said that Sindh Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah and Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) Tashfeen Khalid Niaz will be advised to further discuss these budget proposals with KCCI representatives in another meeting so that these recommendations could be considered in the budget-making process.
The assurance was given to a high-powered KCCI delegation led by Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli who met CM Sindh to formally present KCCI’s Proposals for Sindh Budget 2016-17. Besides Siraj Teli, KCCI delegation also comprised Vice Chairmen BMG and Former Presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif, Former President KCCI AQ Khalil, Former President KCCI Haroon Agar, Former Vice President KCCI Muhammad Idrees and Former SVP KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo.
According to Chairman of KCCI’s Special Committee for Sindh Budget Proposals 2016-17 AQ Khalil, the Karachi Chamber, in its Proposals for Sindh Budget 2016-17, proposed to introduce Solid Waste Management System, completion of K-4 project for water supply to Karachi, execution of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project, repair and construction of roads, flyovers and underpasses in Karachi, effective strategy to deal with traffic mess across Karachi, allocation of at least Rs2 billion for upgrading infrastructure of 7 Industrial Town Associations, removal of ghost staff in Education Dept., KMC and KWSB, allocation of funds on equitable basis for revival of sick industrial units, conservation measures for electricity, gas and water and steps to resolve electricity issues with a view to bring Karachi at par with other cities in terms of infrastructure development and make it an attractive place for investments.
Referring to the 18th Amendment which resulted in imposition of many new taxes at the provincial taxes, the Karachi Chamber underscored the need to rationalize and harmonize these taxes, particularly Sales Tax on Services. In this regard, KCCI demanded that the income of indenters of the import business should not be subjected to additional tax of 14 percent and it should not be levied while 10 percent Services Sales Tax (SST) on Security Services should be withdrawn.
Moreover, 10 percent Sales Tax on Services fee of Tour Operators should also be withdrawn while Sales Tax on commission earned by travel agents on air tickets should be levied as flat rate @ of Rs50 per ticket for domestic travel and Rs100 on international travel while all Tour Operators/Travel Agents dealing in religious tourism/ pilgrims should also be exempted from SST.
KCCI further advised rationalized and fixed rate of Professional Tax and the existing anomalies in Professional Tax should be removed. KCCI also identified 1.0 percent Infrastructure Cess as anomaly which is applicable only on Karachi air and sea ports while others are exempted.
Stressing the need to introduce Online Facility for the payment of Motor Vehicle Tax (MVT), KCCI proposed that the maximum fees for Registration and Renewal of Fitness Certificate of Private Transports should be 10 percent and the fees on Public Transports be abolished.
KCCI suggested that if Octroi tax is reinstated then Sales Tax in Sindh should be reduced to 10% under the existing tax levels, Toll manufacturing should be deleted from the list of services, Export of services should also be added as zero rated and Sales Tax on rented out immovable properties should be abolished as it increases cost of doing business, stokes inflation and restricts investment.
Karachi Chamber stressed that the agriculture sector should be taxed at par with other sectors while single rate of Sales Tax of 10 percent should be imposed on all types of services with input tax credit facility. KCCI also emphasized the need to introduce one single form for provincial taxes with online payment option and the tax collection branches should also been increased whereas one window facility for taxpayers should also be established and the tax procedures should be simplified. In this regard, KCCI advised that the model of Cantonment Board Clifton for the collection of provincial municipal taxes should be adopted and all provincial revenue collection bodies should be merged.
Seeking clear definition of SRB powers and demanding restrictions to avoid misuse and harassment, the Karachi Chamber said that Sindh taxes should be in line with taxes in other provinces whereas the provincial, inter- provincial and federal taxes should be integrated to avoid overlapping. KCCI’s proposals pointed out that taxation system in Cantonment Areas which causes overlapping should be abolished and the concerned authorities of industrial areas should be designated to demand and collect all forms of taxes and levies.
Sindh Workers’ Welfare Fund is ultra vires and should either be made inoperative or struck down till the correction of flaws, KCCI advised, adding that the Labour Department’s registration should only be for entities having above 10 workers while the Excise check-post outside KEPZ must be established.
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