Senate Committee Approves 5% Sales Tax on Imported Laptops and PCs

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, on Friday, approved the proposed 5 percent sales tax on imported laptops and personal computers.

The committee meeting, chaired by Senator Talha Mahmood, deliberated at length the proposals of the Finance Supplementary Bill 2021 for the third consecutive day.

Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed the committee members that the five percent sales tax was proposed on imported laptops, personal computers, and notebooks in the Finance Supplementary Bill 2021 to protect local manufacturers. He said that there will be no tax on the local production of these products.

Senator Faisal Subzwari opposed the proposed tax and said that on one hand, the government talks about its “Digital Pakistan” initiative, but on the other hand, tax is being imposed on laptops and computers. The committee, however, accepted the proposal.

Chairman FBR also briefed the committee regarding the proposal to impose sales tax on imported plants and machinery for Export Processing Zones (EPZs). He said that the import of machinery by EPZs is higher than the import of raw materials. The proposal was approved by the committee.

The committee also approved the proposal to impose a sales tax on imports of irrigation equipment greenhouse framing and other greenhouse equipment. Senator Farooq Naek argued that taxing irrigation-related equipment will harm the process of modernization of the agriculture sector.

However, despite reservations by Chairman FBR, the proposal to impose a sales tax on the import of solar energy equipment was rejected by the committee.