Withdrawal of zero-rated regime to hit exporters, economy Enhanced powers of tax officials to increase taxpayers’ complaints Employment and per capita income to go down.

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(June 19, 2019)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said withdrawal of the zero-rated regime will hit masses, exporters, and the economy therefore the decision should be reconsidered. The decision will result in unemployment while per capita income can go down by three hundred dollars within three years while the competing nations will see improved per capita income during that time, he said.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that enhanced powers and extra protection given to tax officials in the finance bill will increase taxpayers’ complaints.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that ending zero-rating will result in challenges, exports can slide to 21 billion dollars while small export industry can face closure. Some industries may become competitive and end its dependence on bailout packages and subsidies, he added.

The former minister noted that the government should reconsidered as the majority of exports and a lot of jobs are linked to textile, leather, carpets, sports goods, and surgical instruments while the decision has resulted in disappointment and frustration among the business community. It will also hit revenue and balance of payments, he said, adding that if the government has decided not to reverse the decision then it should introduce automated refund procedure as devaluation only will not be fruitful.

He said that finance bill lays less stress on finding new taxpayers and it will burden existing taxpayers and repeated audits will result in complaints and harassment for which a mechanism should be devised, he demanded.

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