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NTN to be issued to foreign missions by February 28

ISLAMABAD (January 21 2005): The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has decided to issue National Tax Numbers (NTNs) to all the diplomats/foreign missions, companies enjoying tax exemptions, non-profit welfare organisations and units operating in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) for the purpose of documentation. The decision would not only streamline imports by the diplomatic community, but would also be instrumental in checking organisations claiming exemptions of duties and taxes without entitlement.

CBR officials told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the CBR has approached the foreign affairs ministry to obtain the list of embassies operating in Islamabad for issuance of NTN, adding the foreign missions are not bound to obtain National Tax Numbers under the law, but the CBR will issue them the same to regularise the import/export made by the diplomatic community.

They said every diplomatic mission based in Islamabad has been allocated specific serial number for its vehicles, adding the CBR is considering allocating National Tax Numbers to these diplomatic missions, for which lists will be obtained from the foreign affairs ministry.

Officials said even if the company is engaged in import of exempted items, the NTN would be issued to it for eliminating paperwork and speeding up the processing of applicants.

They said there are some fake organisations which claimed exemptions at the import stage with connivance of the officials at ports, etc, adding the availability of Online data of such organisations will eliminate any chance of claiming such exemptions.

Officials said the CBR would issue NTN to all of them by February 28, 2005. In case any of these categories were unable to get the NTN, they should approach the Board for allocation of the same, they added.

They said the CBR would also issue NTN to the importers and exporters who are engaged in business with Afghanistan through the border areas of NWFP and Balochistan, adding the processing of bill of entries in future would be done on the basis of NTN.

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