Miftah Ismail shares plan to satisfy retailers’ resistance to tax collection via electricity bills

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KARACHI:After facing Opposition from traders related to the collection of taxes via electricity bills and requests from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced certain measures to satisfy small retailers. “The Prime Minister has also called me and instructed me to ensure that small traders are completely satisfied with the new tax law. This I shall do tomorrow,” tweeted the minister. The finance minister said that to address the concerns of the small retailers the government will “exempt shops with bills of less than 150 units” from the tax. “We will charge Rs3,000 even to those shopkeepers who are not registered with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The tax paid will be full and final. No tax notice will be issued to shops nor will FBR officers visit their shops,” tweeted the finance minister. Ismail was responding to a tweet by PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif who had asked him to “withdraw tax on electricity bill” as the businessmen were worried and complaining. Soon after the tweet, Maryam said that she had spoken to the finance minister who had assured him that he would sit with the traders tomorrow (Monday) and find a solution. The government in the budget for the current fiscal year had decided to deduct tax through electricity bills from small shopkeepers or retailers across the country to bring the sector under the tax net The budget document showed that fixed income and sales tax regimes of Rs3,000 to Rs10,000 has been imposed on the small retailers to bring them into the tax net. However, traders across the country have staged protests and refused to pay the tax.

 

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