Senate Body Expresses Reservation Over Taxation Structure

Senate body expresses reservation over taxation structure

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 05th Jan, 2017 ) : Senate Secretariat standing committee on Information and Technology and Telecommunication Thursday expressed reservations over mechanism adopted by FBR and PTA regarding collection of taxes from cellular operators.

The committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Shahi Syed. Senator Abdul Rehman Malik, Mufti Abdul Sattar, Gianchand, Syed Shibli Faraz, Rubina Khalid, Osman Saifullah Khan, Taj Muhammad Afridi and Naseema Ehsan also attended the committee.

The Federal board of Revenue (FBR) informed the committee that Rs 43 billion was collected as Withholding tax and Rs 2.7 billion Federal Excise Duty (FED) in 2015-16. Tax collection by provinces under the head of GST is excluding these numbers.

The committee gave the proposals for rationalizing the taxation structure as telecom is one of the heaviest taxed sectors in the country. The Committee was informed that provinces are charging different rates for GST taxes on telecom sector, on which it decided to take up the issue with Chief Ministers of all provinces where heavy service taxes are being imposed on telecom/Internet services at variable rates.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) official said "The software is being developed that will enable telecom operators to reflect directly what taxes they collect from customers.

This software will be synced with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to ensure transparency in the system." State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman clarified the allegation from Senator Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel that Rs 500 million of the dedicated USF money was spent for the construction of a Stadium in Sialkot.

Anusha claimed that government of Pakistan can no longer utilize USF money for anything except for the dedicated purpose of expanding IT and Telecom services in far-flung and underdeveloped areas of the country.

Over the issue of ptcl pensioners, an official told the committee that,"40 cases of pension related problems do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Federation, 11 cases of different nature pertaining to pensions have been finalised, 4 cases are of those seeking double pensions and 33 cases would soon be disposed of by granting cheques to pensioners after receiving their files.

Chairman committee asked to make the calculation for the pensions and asked to inform the committee in the next meeting.