A meeting of the Upper House Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs continued for the fourth consecutive day under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwala at Parliament House. The committee reviewed clause by clause the provisions related to income tax in the Finance Bill 2022 FBR Officials apprised the committee that a new section has been added in the Income Tax Ordinance to provide data sharing mechanism with NADRA to expand the tax net. Irregularities in the procedure for issuance of audit report by the Commissioner have also been rectified. The penalty for non-submission of income statement within the due date has been made more comprehensive. The process of linking all major retailers with FBR's POS system has been started. Penalties for sales tax evasion by not using the POS system and shutting down the system have also been imposed. Chairman FBR said that at present the number of first tier retailers in the country is around 30,000. We strive to integrate them all into the FBR's POS system as soon as possible. Committee members opposed the imposition of withholding tax on overseas payments by credit / debit or prepaid cards and recommended amendments to the relevant section. The Secretary Railways, appearing before the Committee, recommended that the Railways be included in Schedule 5 for the import of locomotives, passenger cabins and spare parts on the analogy of Aviation department. The committee members unanimously directed the officials of the ministry to sit down with the railways and resolve the issue. The representative s of the Pharmaceutical Association apprised the committee of the difficulties faced by the sector. They said that a tax has been imposed on the import of raw materials used in medicine which will lead to the decline of the industry. Minister of State for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha assured the officials of the association that their problems would be considered and resolved as soon as possible. Representatives of Telecom companies expressed their concerns over the imposition of import duty on fiber optic cable. FBR officials told the committee that the issue falls under the purview of the NTC and duty was imposed to protect the local industry. Representatives of the telecom sector also briefed the committee on the 15 per cent advance tax. The telecom companies were of the view that the advance tax should be reduced from fifteen to ten per cent. This will have a positive impact on the industry. They said.
The meeting was attended by Senators, Talha Mehmood, Farooq Hamid Naik, Zeeshan Khanzada, Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, Minister of State for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha, FBR and law ministry officials.