ISLAMABAD: Finance adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh announced on Wednesday that the federal government and business community have reached an agreement that would create facilities for traders to continue their activities across the country, ARY News reported.

The finance adviser made the announcement in a press conference after holding dialogues with the protesting traders observing shutter down strike.

Hafeez Shaikh said that those traders with an annual sale of Rs100 million will not be made withholding agent as the financial institutions have reduced the turnover taxation rate from 1 to 0.5 per cent. He further added that the limit is also set up to Rs2 million for electricity bills for registration of the sales tax.

Moreover, the government will review the turnover rate for the wholesalers getting less profit, whereas, the issues related to the jewellers will also be resolved on a priority basis. The financial authorities will set up a desk in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) office to resolve traders’ issues.

“For the new registrations, tax return forms will be provided in the Urdu language as well.”

The government has also postponed the implementation of CNIC [computerised national identity card] condition for the businesspersons till January 31 – 2020, whereas, the legal actions will remain suspended for next three months, he announced.

Hafeez Shaikh highlighted that only around 393,000 are taxpayers out of more than 4 million traders. The government is willing to gain the confidence of the business community to increase tax net, he added.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan believes on policies revolves around the nationals for their betterment. We can reach our destiny by making fast pace improvements in the national economy.”

Earlier on Tuesday, traders had announced to continue shutter-down strike on Wednesday (today) as deadlock persisted despite holding talks with the federal government.

The dialogues between the federal government and traders remained inconclusive yesterday.

It may be noted here that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman Shabbar Zaidi had already announced that the authorities will further relax the condition of CNIC number under the sales tax act which declared the misreporting of the national identity number and national tax number (NTN) as a punishable offence.

Earlier on July 23, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had made it mandatory for all buyers to show their Computer National Identity Card (CNIC) while making purchases over Rs50,000 from a sales tax registered person.

The FBR explained the new condition in a sales tax notification on Monday which stipulates the amendments being made to the Sales Tax Act, 1990.

Later on October 4, the federal government had decided to relax the condition for which the manufacturers and suppliers had been complaining about not having a mechanism for detecting fake and third party’s CNIC.

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