REAP Suggests Hassle-Free Tax Payment System

REAP Suggests Hassle-Free Tax Payment System – The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has called on the government to implement a one-window tax system for exports to simplify tax payments and aid exporters.

During a press conference at REAP House, Chairman Chela Ram Kewlani emphasized the need for a transparent and hassle-free tax payment system, allowing exporters and industrialists to pay their taxes without fear.

“The business community is always ready to support the government and the country’s economy by paying taxes, but the tax payment system needs to be simplified,” Kewlani stated. He highlighted that REAP’s budget proposals for the fiscal year 2024-25 include a recommendation for a One Window Tax System for export-related industries. This system would allow taxes to be deducted automatically upon the arrival of export proceeds.

Kewlani also urged the State Bank of Pakistan to lower the interest rate to single digits to foster economic growth. He criticized the current double-digit interest rate for hindering industrial expansion and argued that the recent 150 basis points cut in the policy rate is insufficient. “The policy rate must be reduced to 8 percent,” he asserted.

During the press conference, Kewlani shared positive news regarding the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce and Rafique Suleman, Convener of REAP’s Committee on Kenya. Thanks to their initiatives, Pakistan successfully secured the release of 1,300 rice containers that had been stuck at Mombasa port in Kenya. Furthermore, Pakistani rice has been granted zero-rated status until November 2024.

Kewlani explained that Pakistani rice exporters had sent shipments of rice to Kenya, with a duty-free deadline of April 6, 2024. The timely intervention by the Ministry of Commerce and REAP’s committee ensured the smooth release and continued duty-free status of these shipments, thereby averting potential financial losses for Pakistani exporters.

The proposed one-window tax system and reduced interest rates aim to alleviate the financial burden on exporters, streamline tax compliance, and enhance the competitiveness of Pakistan’s rice industry in the global market.