Decision of slap tax on flour mills criticised, Increased prices of wheat flour to create nationwide crisis, Legality of taxing agri economy questionable.

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August 08, 2016

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain has criticised the decision to slap 6.5 percent withholding tax on the turnover for flour mills.

The decision will jack up prices of wheat flour by Rs5 per kg creating unrest among masses who are already paying a heavy price for it, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain has said that 915 registered and many unregistered mills are doing business of Rs275 billion while authorities are eyeing collection of Rs15 billion as taxes which is against the Constitution and the national interests.

Collecting tax from registered mills and avoiding unregistered grinding units will distort the market, he observed.

He said that authorities tried this few months back but on May 12th, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Haroon Akhtar Khan has overturned the decision to impose 6.5 percent withholding tax on the turnover of the flour mills terming it against the interests of masses.

He directed the FBR officials to stop serving notices of flour millers and continue to get tax as per the practice since last four years as tax on turnover will jack up prices of the staple. Khan also asked the owners of grinders to improve their documentation to avoid taxation problems in future.

However, the authorities have again initiated the move which is against the constitution as agriculture is not a federal but a provincial subject. This is also a plea taken by the federal government when it comes to impose taxes on landed elite, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that government has not fully recovered from the crisis of evaluation of property and triggering another crisis at this juncture is not advisable which can result in serious political crisis.

He also asked the flour millers to pay full price of the wheat to the growers to end exploitation.

August 08, 2016 - English August 08, 2016 - Udru

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