PFA seeks KCCI’s assistance in dealing with Tier-I retailers’ issue

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KARACHI: Senior Vice Chairman Pakistan Furniture Association (PFA) Rana Waheed Murad, while referring to several discussions and a meeting held on June 22 with the then Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Chairman FBR, stated that it was principally agreed in the said meeting that the furniture retailers will be brought into fixed tax regime but unfortunately, the agreement reached stands unimplemented to date hence, the Karachi Chamber must take up this serious issue with relevant authorities so that furniture shopkeepers could be pulled out of Tier-I retailers category and subjected to fixed tax.

Rana Waheed, who led a PFA delegation to KCCI, appreciated Chairman Zubair Motiwala, who, as Chairman of the Anomaly Committee formed by the government after this year’s Federal Budget announcement, effectively advocated PFA’s valid demand and also succeeded in convincing the policymakers to provide relief which was agreed but remains unimplemented. The situation has crated a lot of problems for businessmen associated with furniture sector who were widely being harassed by FBR officials through unwarranted notices.

President KCCI Muhammad Tariq Yousuf, Vice President Muhammad Haris Agar, Chairman Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon along with KCCI Managing Committee Members and PFA delegation members attended the meeting.

Senior Vice Chairman PFA was of the opinion that furniture industry has great potential to grow and boost exports of the country to US$ 1 billion but placing furniture retailers in Tier-1 category for Sales tax collection has created lot of difficulties for this sector that was terribly affecting business activities. “We are capable of competing with Turkey, Vietnam and China etc. but will not be able to do so if our issues stand unresolved”, he added and stressed that furniture retailers must be brought under fixed tax regime which would increase the tax revenue for the country and reduce problems being faced by furniture retailers.

He also drew KCCI’s attention towards another serious issue as all the imported wood consignments have now been subjected to seeking clearance/ certification from Department of Plant Protection (DPP) which creates a lot of problems in clearing this essential raw material. “We are being asked to get the wood crust removed before shipping as it might carry bacteria but it was technically impossible as without this crust, the wood becomes drier and totally useless within a couple of months”, he explained, adding that furniture sector has witnessed strong growth in exports but it would not last long and start descending soon if such anti-business measures were not promptly reverted.

Rana Waheed, while congratulating the newly elected Office Bearers, hoped that the new team at KCCI would prioritize the issues being faced by furniture shopkeepers and make all out efforts to get them amicably resolved so that this important industry could be saved from getting into further disaster.

President KCCI Tariq Yousuf, after listening to the grievances being faced by PFA members, assured to take up their Tier-I retailers’ issue and request the government to fulfill its commitment made to the perturbed businessmen from furniture sector. He advised PFA delegates to also bring any other Customs related or Law & Order related issues to KCCI’s notice so that its relevant subcommittees could promptly get them resolved with a view to minimize the hardships being faced by manufacturers, sellers and exporters of furniture.

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