Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was held here at Parliament House, with Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in Chair.
The Senate Committee deliberated on selective opening of LCs to import EV cars in the country. Muhammad Akhtar Javed, Executive Director SBP, apprised that one window was provided in december to facilitate port clearance, however, import ban has been lifted in july and no LCs have been halted since then. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla stated that targeted LCs issuance is discriminating against the manufacturers and directed the SBP to provide level playing field to all the stakeholders.
The Senate body was briefed on claims of refund by M/S Kolachee Int (Pvt.) Ltd. Representatives of M/S apprised that a refund application was submitted in FBR some 4 years ago for supply of unfinished goods to textile sector which falls within five zero rated sectors. However, the FBR has rejected the application, stating that taxpayer has to provide evidence for the claimed supplies. The Committee directed the FBR to investigate and promptly resolve the issue.
While discussing the issue of unlawful clearance of goods worth 847 Million USD at a time when import ban was in effect. Zeba Hai Azhar, Member Customs Operations, informed that the goods were of consumer nature and did not comprise any banned items, however, FBR is investigating the matter and will submit report report upon conclusion. The Committee directed the FBR to conclude the inquiry within one month.
Moreover, as to appointment of Board Members of Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and President of NBP and ZTBL. Officials stated that four members of CCP have been notified and a Chairman has also been appointed among these members, which fulfills the requirement of having a minimum of three members for effective decision making. In addition to that, President of NBP was appointed yesterday and discussion for appointment of ZTBL are currently in progress and the process will be concluded in matter time.
Furthermore, the Senate Committee took stern notice of 400 p.c. increase in tax on payment through Debit/Credit card. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla stated that the increase is not likely to resulin generating revenue, but rather, it will pose hurdles for students studying abroad. Chairman FBR apprised that the increase was incorporated as a policy within Financial Act 2023 and had been proposed by the SBP. The Committee recommended the FBR to reduce the tax at minimum.
The meeting was attended by Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, Senator Saadia Abbasi, Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman, Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood, Additional Secretary Finance Division Amjad Mahmood,Chairman FBR Amjed Zubair Tiwana,Member Customs Operations Zeba Hai Azhar, Executive Director SBP Muhammad Akhtar Javed and other senior officers of relevant departments were also in attendance.