Senate Rejects 40-Year Tax Exemption for Gwadar Port

Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance has rejected Gwadar Port’s 40-year tax exemption on specific names of companies, their contractors and sub-contractors.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenues held a meeting under Chairmanship of Senator Farooq H Naek at the Parliament House.

All senators were of the view that such tax exemptions are misused. However, Senator Sherry Rehman said that these agreements are already done with China.

For taking the final decision, the Senate panel summoned top guns of the Ministry of Maritime today for finalizing its ultimate recommendation for budget 2020-21.

It’s simply ‘vulgar’ to grant companies, their contractors and sub-contractors specific tax exemptions on the name of Gwadar port.

Senator Mussadiq Malik while participating in a debate to finalize recommendation on Finance Bill 2020-21 during the Senate panel meeting said that there was only Zia ul Haq’s name that became part of the legislation so it indicated someone powerful was behind this move. “I request government that please don’t embarrass legislators by bringing such a proposal.”

FBR’s Member Customs Javed Ghani then went to second last page of the changes proposed into Customs Act through Finance Bill 2020-21 and stated that this bill proposed equipment and materials (plant, machinery, equipment, appliances, and accessories) imported by the concession holder, its operating companies “including Gwadar International Terminals Limited and Gwadar Marine Services Limited and their” contractors and sub-contractors exclusively for construction and operation of the terminals and Free Zone Area for a period of 40 years.

It was also told by PM to the Senate panel in writing that a summary for the cabinet was moved by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs recommending changes relating to laws pertaining to Gwadar.

However, the Tax Laws Amendment Ordinance 2019 was promulgated on 6-10-2019. As the ordinance was not yet approved by the National Assembly, therefore the changes have been incorporated in the finance bill.

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