The Senate Standing Committee on Finance finalised its suggestions regarding Finance Bill, 2021-22, during a session of the meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting of the finance committee which was presided over by Senator Talha Mahmood would submit the suggestions to the Upper House, from where these would be passed on to the National Assembly to make them part of the Finance Bill 2021-22.
Removal of Section 233A
Firstly, advise for removal of section 233A of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 that allows to the Inland Revenue officers of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) the powers to arrest the taxpayers on concealment of Income.
Salary benefits to Government Employees
Committee also recommended increase in the salaries of government employees from 10 to 20 percent during the coming financial year. The Committee also criticized and rejected the imposition of tax on the expenses of the working class.
Sales Tax Imposition
The Committee also rejected inclusion of sugar in the Third Schedule; sales tax on gold/diamonds/precious stones; sales tax on dairy products, aircrafts, plants and machinery; withdrawal of exemption on LED lights; imposition of sales tax on 14 items of the poultry sector; and sales tax on bricks. The committee also rejected the FBR’s proposal for imposing 17 percent sales tax on jewelers.
Withholding tax on Electricity Bills
The Senate panel also rejected the FBR proposal for imposing tax on domestic electricity bills exceeding Rs25,000 per month.
Increase in Federal Excise Duty (FED)
The Senate panel also recommended to the government to raise FED plus Rs25 per pack on tier-1 cigarettes as it will generate additional Rs13 billion, while on tier-2 the FED plus Rs15 per pack should be increased to generate additional Rs50 billion.
Sales tax on edible oil and sales tax on milk
The committee also rejected increase in taxes on edible oil and ghee, and stated that increase would fuel inflation in the country to make the life of the people more difficult. The committee also opposed imposition of sales tax on milk after it was told that the price of milk would increase the inflation in the country.
Sales tax on poultry feeds
The committee rejected increase in sales tax on poultry feed from 10 percent to 17 percent. The committee rejected 17 percent sales tax on poultry feed and recommended that sale should be maintained at existing rate of 10 percent.
Sales tax on crude oil
Committee members including Senator Mahmood strongly opposed imposition of 17 percent sales tax on crude oil.