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Senator Faisal Vawda Unhappy With Non-Filers Getting Exemptions for Umrah, Hajj

Senator Faisal Vawda today questioned the rationale behind exemptions for non-filers during religious pilgrimages like Hajj and Umrah and suggested re-evaluating these exemptions. He also highlighted the need to protect media workers’ interests and restore salaries that were cut during COVID-19.

Vawda made these remarks during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Friday. Senator Senator Salim Mandviwala chaired today’s session while other senior officials were also in attendance.

The committee discussed the government’s decision to increase the tax rate from 15 percent to 18 percent on retailers using the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Point of Sale (POS) system. Members suggested expanding the tax base rather than increasing tax rates.

The committee recommended tax exemptions for imported equipment destined for government hospitals. It also rejected the federal government’s proposal to increase sales tax rate on stationary items.

Member IR Policy FBR argued that increasing the tax rate is an unfair practice that burdens compliant taxpayers. Meanwhile, one senator criticized the legal disparities between filers and non-filers, arguing that current policies discourage compliance and are detrimental in the long term.

Members said the fixed tax on exporters’ turnover has now been brought under the normal tax regime. They demanded that the government revisit this and abstain from bringing exporters’ turnover under the normal tax regime.

Representatives of the Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) urged the committee to advocate higher taxes on sugar drinks which were causing health issues at an alarming level. They said one person/minute in Pakistan suffers a heart attack, while over 30 million people have diabetes. PANAH attributed 30 percent of diabetes cases to sugary drinks and revealed that $2.64 billion was spent on treating diabetes in 2021 alone.

Another senator opposed the 10 percent sales tax on newspapers.

The All Pakistan Fertilizer Dealers Association called for amendments to tax documentation procedures, specifically advocating for changes to Sections 236H and 236G.

The committee also discussed the tax increase on teachers’ salaries at large educational institutions.

Overall, the meeting urged addressing these tax concerns to create a more equitable and efficient tax system.

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  • Faisal is a known liar with no shame same as non fillers travelling abroad.
    On the other hand what kind of facility govt provides to filers travelling abroad?

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