Lahore, February 07, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to immediately bring down rate of Sales Tax to five per cent from 16 percent on Plastic moulding compound as unchecked smuggling of the Plastic Compound from Iran by land route is hitting the plastic businesses hard.
A 12-member delegation of Punjab Plastic Importers and Manufacturers Association called on LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar and Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad on Thursday and informed tem that the unchecked smuggling of plastic moulding compound is not only causing a loss of Rs 25 billion annually to the exchequer but also causing closure of plastic businesses in the country.
Punjab Plastic and Manufacturers Association delegation comprising Malik Munwar, Javaid Jillani, Chaudhry Mobeen, Mian Anjum, Sheikh Waheed, Usman Sharif, Sheikh Pervaiz, Sheikh Mohammad Ayub and Malik Fakhir Sultan said that it is very surprising that on one hand the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) authorities were playing arm-twisting with the exiting taxpayers while on the other hand the menace of smuggling is fast spreading its tentacles under their watch and at the cost of the exchequer.
The delegates said that the authorities concerned should immediately ban import of Polyethene and Polyproplene from Iran via land route from any border of Pakistan as at present these products are available in the local market at Rs 20 per kilogramme below the imported price that is very damaging for the local businessmen.
They informed the LCCI office-bearers that the association had already sent letters to the FBR that the smuggling of polymers from Iran was not only causing a huge loss to the government but was also badly damaging the local investors who are running their businesses through clean documentation. They said that only because of these unscrupulous elements it has become almost impossible for the genuine businessmen to continue their businesses.
They said that the total import of plastic raw material Polyethene and Polyproplene in 2011-2012 was about Rs 75.5 billion. The importers pay advance tax at port about 35 percent in lieu of duties and taxes and if the smuggling is not stopped, it will lead to a loss of minimum Rs 25 billion to the exchequer.
They said that it was very unfortunate that the people sitting at the helm of affairs in the FBR are taking this important issue of national importance very lightly. They said that the government would have to weed out the menace of smuggling once and for all to save the local investors and the economy. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI president Farooq Iftikhar said that the LCCI would extend full cooperation to the FBR if it initiates a strict action against such black sheep who are not only challenging the writ of the law but also denting the economy in a big way.
He said that the growth of unorganised sector must be checked for the sake of organised sectors that are doing business after paying all their dues. “To provide an enabling business atmosphere to the genuine businessmen is duty of the government machinery.” He suggested to the FBR to bring down the rate sales tax on the plastic moulding compound to 5 per cent instead of 16 per cent to curb the smuggling as it had already done in case of tea import.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854