FPCCI rejects Trade Organization RulesMay 22, 2013
Karachi: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has vehemently rejected the Trade Organization Rules (TOR) 2013, whereby the DGTO / Regulator has been vested with a vast discretionary powers to exploit trade bodies.
The TOR 2013 came to under discussion at the Executive Committee Meeting of FPCCI held on 20thMay, 2013 at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry with Zubair Ahmed Malik, President, FPCCI in the chair the meeting was attended by the office bearers, presidents and chairmen of various chambers of commerce and industry and associations respectively as well as a large number of Executive Committee Members of FPCCI from across the country.
The participants also demanded that the enforcement of TOR 2013 should be immediately stopped and in the meantime it should be redrafted in consultation with the representatives of FPCCI. In this respect some members referring to the Bhurban Declaration passed in the Bhurban Business Convention organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry recalled that the declaration has out rightly rejected the TOO 2013 and TOR
The meeting was also informed that TOO 2013 and TOR 2013 nowhere in the world, except Pakistan and Bangladesh. The meeting inter-alia, also discussed Trade Organizations Ordinance (TOO), 2013 and Trade Organization Rules (TOR), 2013; considered FPCCI Proposals for the upcoming Federal Budget 2013-14 and current economic issues in the backdrop of protracted power load shedding, shortage of gas and deteriorating law and order situation etc.
The business community was of the view that the trade bodies are being run on the revenue being generated by the trade bodies themselves. There is no financial grant from the government for the support to trade bodies. They further opined that in the presence of the companies’ laws of SECP there is no need of the DGTO office or of TOR. It was also decided in the meeting that FPCCI will form a committee to review the TOR 2013 and make necessary recommendations for incorporation in it.
A comprehensive presentation on FPCCI’s budget proposals, formulated on the basis of recommendations received by FPCCI from its member trade bodies, was made in the meeting which was highly appreciated by the members. The FPCCI proposals stressed that the tax must be equitable and fair between different classes of society and sectors of economy including agriculture, convenience of taxpayers should be focused, levy of tax at minimum rates for a larger coverage as tax rate is inversely proportional to the taxpayers, tax law must be simple and unambiguous to make a taxpayer understand about his tax liability well in advance and reversal of present ratio of direct (33%) to indirect tax (67%). It also contains the proposals on minimizing huge fiscal deficit, overcome power and gas crisis, rooting out of corruption and introducing the element of accountability and good governance, curtailing the menace of smuggling and under invoicing, broadening of tax base, rationalization of tax rates, improvement in tax to GDP ratio which is lowest in the region etc.
The house urged the incoming Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar and the
Chairman FBR to give due consideration to FPCCI proposals on Federal Budget 2013-14 as its measures have a direct bearing on trade and industry.
It was also decided that a Pre-Budget meeting may be held with the Chairman, FBR to advocate FPCCI point of view for incorporation in the Federal Budget.
The Chair informed that FPCCI role is confined only to present budgetary proposals and identify its point of view on existing harsh and irritant provisions of the tax laws however it is not a regulator / authority to implement them.
The house expressed serious concerns over the existing power crises, gas load-shedding, deteriorating law and order situation.
Zubair Ahmed Malik, President, FPCCI disclosed that deteriorating law and order situation has put the economic activities of Karachi at halt, while, the energy crises has ruined the industry of Punjab. The participants of the meeting pinning the hope with the new government expressed that the business community has great expectations from the newly elected government to be formed under the Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and assured their full support and cooperation to it.
They also demanded that his government should give top priority to the resolution of these chronic and acute issues for the revival and fixing of the shattered economy.
The prominent members who attended the meeting were Tariq Sayeed, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Tanveer Ahmed Shaikh, Saifullah Khan Paracha and Chaudhary Mohammad Saeed, Former Presidents FPCCI Azhar Saeed Butt,
Vice President and Chairman FPCCI Regional office Lahore, Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana, Abdul Khaliq Khan, Gulzar Firoz, Khawaja Mohammad Iqbal, Muhammad Ali, Mr. Muhammad Zafar Jalil Khan Mastokhel, Vice Presidents, FPCCI, Zakaria Usman, Shaikh Jamil Mehboob Magoon, Mahmood Ahmed, Former Vice Presidents, and Zafar Bakhtawari President Islamabad CCI and other renowned members of the business community.