Chemical merchants advocate FTR continuation for commercial importers

Chemical merchants advocate FTR continuation for commercial importers

KARACHI: Chemical merchants have strongly advocated continuation of Final Tax Regime (FTR) for commercial importers in the upcoming budget.

In a statement issued on Saturday Shahid Vaseem, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants’ Association (PCDMA), said that because commercial importers pay 6 percent advance non-adjustable tax at import stage, whereas industrial importers of same raw material pay only 5.5 percent adjustable/refundable advance tax or avail tax exemption certificate facility, therefore it was not justified to withdraw Final Tax Regime (FTR) from Commercial importers without giving them options of claiming tax refund and facility for issuance of Tax exemption certificate if excess tax is already paid at import stage.

In meeting with PCDMA memebers and leading importers of industrial Raw Materials, Chairman PCDMA, said that assessed value for calculation of customs levies of an industrial raw material whether it is imported by industrial importer or commercial importer; remains same either on the basis of valuation ruling (if available), international scan (if available) or custom data; therefore, chances of under-invoicing eliminated on import of industrial raw materials.

Shahid Vaseem said in his opinion by imposing similar rate of sales tax on industrial raw materials will also eliminate the issue of imports by non-genuine industrial importers and excess imports by the genuine industrial importers, who just import big volumes of industrial raw materials to sale in market at huge profit due to less rate of tax and in some cases got extra ordinary benefits of various SROs. Which resulted in loss of billions of rupees to government revenue.

Shahid Vaseem demanded the Government to provide a level-playing field for commercial importers who are importing industrial raw material and supply these essential raw materials to industries in SME segment. At import stage commercial importers are paying 17+3= 20 percent sales Tax as compared to 17 percent only, if same items are imported directly by industrial importers, this renders our customer industries in SME segment un-competitive in local as well as export markets, thereby eliminating job opportunities and hurting exports of value-added goods.

He explained that 3 percent Additional Sales Tax on import of Industrial Raw Materials if imported by Commercial Importers is irrational and unjustified, because 3 percent ADDITIONAL Sales Tax can only be applied if the Value Addition on raw material is assumed 17.65 percent, which is not possible because there is no process of value addition involved and no inputs such as Land, Buildings, Machinery, Labor, Electricity and Gas etc. are used by commercial importers of same industrial raw materials.

On the contrary the value addition by manufacturers is assumed as 10 percent only and the GST is charged at the rate of 1.7 percent despite all the above inputs.

He claimed that by implementing same rate of taxes and extending benefits of various SROs to commercial importers, similar to the industrial importers of Raw materials for one year will result in significant drop in import volume by the industrial importers, which will prove the misuse of reduce tax facility by the industrial importers and will provide opportunity to the government to identify non-genuine industrial importers who are only existing for importing raw materials for commercial sales.