Senate body reviews Finance bill, budget recommendation

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 5 (APP): The Senate Standing Committee on
Finance and Revenue reviewed on Monday Finance Bill 2017-18 besides
discussing in detail the budget recommendations presented by the
members of the committee.
The meeting of the committee, presided over by Saleem H.
Mandviwala also discussed industrial sector’s issues relating to tax
and custom duties.
During the meeting, representatives from Dairy, Can, Ghee,
Stationary and Cable manufacturing industries informed the committee
of the problems faced by them.
The representatives from Can industry said that there was only
one factory of Can manufacturing in the country and this industry
has to pay heavy duty on import of raw material. They demanded that
the local manufacturing companies should be given priority over the
importers of Can.
Dairy industry representatives informed that there are 4000
milk collection centres across the country. They demanded relief package for the sector.
They demanded that the import of milk powder should be zero
rated. In response, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials
said that it was not possible to announce it a zero rated regime.
However, they offered that the FBR, together with dairy sector
representatives could set a mechanism to provide relief to the
sector.
The representatives of stationary sector also demanded zero
rating the import of raw material for stationary items including
pencils and erasers.
They said that the industry was going in loss and one factory
has already been closed. They said that instead of providing pencils
and erasers to the children on subsidized rates, the government was
imposing further taxes on the stationary industry.
Similarly, they claimed that the cable manufacturing industry representatives pointed out that a huge quantity of duty free manufactured cable was being imported from China which was hurting the local industry as it was unable to compete with the Chinese imported cable due to heavy taxes on the local industry.
The industry demanded that a Regulatory Duty should be levied
on the import of manufactured cable. The committee directed FBR to
provide all possible relief to the cable industry.
Meanwhile, representatives from Ghee industry told the
committee that 14 out of total 26 ghee mills had been closed down in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the fact that the government had given
relief to ghee factories in FATA and PATA. Therefore, they said that
the Ghee factories in KP were unable to compete with the factories
in FATA and PATA.
The Ghee representatives requested the committee to forward
its recommendation to provide same facilities that were being
provided to the Chinese investors under China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC). The Committee approved the request and recommended
to the National Assembly for approval.
The meeting was attended by Senators Talha Mehmood, Ilyas
Bilour, Mohsin Khan Leghari, Osman Saifullah Khan, Mohsin Aziz and
Kamil Ali Agha.