Pakistan to sign Convention on Tax Matters with OECD on September 14: Dar

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31 (APP): Pakistan will sign Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters with OECD on September 14 as the Federal Cabinet formally approved this on Wednesday.

Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar termed the decision a historic one while briefing a crowded press conference regarding decisions of Federal Cabinet here at Prime Minister Office.

He was flanked by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid and Secretary Ministry of Information Ms. Saba Mohsin Raza.

Ishaq Dar said he would leave for Paris on September 13 for signing agreement with Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which has the representation of 100 countries.

He said “the OECD has invited Pakistan to become its member as we fulfill its requirements”. “We will be going to sign the convention on September 14 as Federal Cabinet has accorded its approval” , he added.

He said the agreement would be implemented by end of 2017 and would be fully activated form the years 2018-19.

He said the credit of singing this important agreement went to present government as no governments in the past seventy years had bothered to think about it.

He said after signing the treaty, Pakistan would have access to automatic information about tax data.

He said the Cabinet has also given approval to signing of avoidance of double taxation treaty with Switzerland.

The process in this regard was initiated in 2014 and in this regard a two-member Pakistani delegation held successful negotiations with Swiss authorities in June 25-27 2016, he added.

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According to the Swiss law, this agreement would be approved by their Parliaments and then it would be signed between the two countries, he said.

Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar said the Federal Cabinet
also ratified PM’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals Programme in order to provide basic facilities including clean drinking water, sanitation, and electricity supply.

He informed that Cabinet also approved Tax Laws Amendment Ordinance 2016 and determination of sales tax on petroleum products. The law would be tabled on September 2 in the National Assembly and on September 5 in the Senate.

He said there were problems regarding input adjustment
tax between Federal Government (FBR) and provinces and this law would provide relief to the provinces.

He said Sindh and Punjab have addressed their issues
with the FBR. Sindh has also signed an agreement regarding adjustment of Input Tax with FBR, he added.

The Ordinance would also cover Term Finance Certificate
(TFC) and Sukuk for promotion of Islamic banking and finance in the country.

Regarding property valuation, he said that this would help
increase revenues by 8 10 percent and fetch an amount of Rs.80 billion to Rs.90 billion, he added.

Ishaq Dar said the Federal Cabinet has also decided to keep
the prices of five petroleum products prices unchanged for the month of September in order to provide relief to people.
Dar said that Cabinet also aproved medical treatment of
poor/deserving citizens, suffering from fatal diseases including kidney, liver, bone marrow transplant and cancer.

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Dar said this facility would be rolled out in seventeen
districts of the country to facilitate poor and deserving patients.

He said the Cabinet also decided for the publication of
Tax Directories of Parliamentarians and general tax payers
in the next two weeks.

He said Pakistan is the 4th country in the world which
is issuing tax directory of the parliamentarians and general tax payers and had been publishing for the last two years.

Ishaq Dar said that the Cabinet also approved extension
of reduced Withholding Tax Rate for non filers under Section 236 on Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 upto December 31,2016.

The Finance Minister further informed that the Cabinet
also approved change of Rs. 5 coin and introduction of Rs. 10 coin.

He said 155 million coins of Rs.5 had been manufactured
while 10 million coins of Rs.10 have also been produced.

The Cabinet, he said also approved Third Protocol to
sign Agreement between the governments of Pakistan and China for avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect of taxes on income and approval to sign the initialed draft.

Ishaq Dar said that the Cabinet also approved Pakistan
Commission of Inquiries Bill 2016 in order to empower the
inquiry commissions right from Debacle of East Pakistan Commission to Abbotabad Commissions, replacing 1956 law in light of Chief Justice of Pakistan letter to the Prime Minister.

He said it would also be tabled in the National Assembly in
order to bring further improvements in it.