Karachi: The government nets up to Rs95 on a 50kg cement bag on account of 5 per cent Federal Excise Duty (FED) and 17pc General Sales Tax (GST) at maximum retail price.
The high incidence of taxation encourages evasion and negatively impacts consumption, stated Mohammad Ali Tabba, Chairman, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), in his pre-budget proposals to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
He urged the government to reduce FED stepwise to zero to improve cement off-take.
The cement industry is using coal as fuel for its kiln and the federal government through the Finance Act 2014 imposed one per cent import duty on coal while previously it was zero. He proposed restoration of pre-budget duty structure.
The APCMA chairman urged the FBR to reduce 17pc GST to 12.5pc in order to reduce the already soaring cost of doing business.
It should further be gradually reduced to 10pc over the next three years for registered entities because the reduced rate would encourage registration of unregistered taxpayers to avail the benefits of input adjustment, stated Tabba.
Through the Finance Act, 2014, withdrawal of SRO 575, import duty at the rate increased from 10pc and a tariff rate of 20pc was imposed on import of waste and scrap of tyres.
This fuel should be subject to nil import duty to bring this alternate fuel at par with other fuels at zero per cent customs duty.
The alternate fuels must be allowed to be imported at zero rate of duty to encourage further investment, stated APCMA Chairman.
With regard to custom duty on capital goods, he stated that it was well conscious decision of the government that customs duty shall be five to 10pc, which is applicable in contrast/ juxtaposition on plant/machinery and equipment but through the Finance Act, 2014, the FBR has withdrawn SRO-575, thus withdrawn concession on capital goods.
To encourage investment/efficiencies through BMR (balancing, modernising and replacing), the ‘capital goods’ should be included in Serial No 18 of the 5th Schedule of the Customs Act, 1969, because due to rapidly changing technologies and advancement/improvement in efficient technologies, a considerable investment is required in existing industries, to work/produce efficiently,’ suggested Tabba.
Secondly it is also a conscious decision of the government that such machinery and equipment or parts and accessories or capital goods shall attract the slab of customs duty at the rate of five per cent or maximum 10pc where said goods are not manufactured in Pakistan.
The government may consider to reduce customs duty and taxes within the slab of five per cent or maximum 10pc where said machinery, equipment, spares or capital goods are not manufactured locally so that industries have a level-playing field and may be able to reduce the cost of doing business, he added.
Tabba proposed that income tax rate on taxable income of companies and small companies should be immediately standardized with a common rate of 30pc.