Ship-breaking and ghee industry tax relief to have minimal revenue impact

ISLAMABAD (September 04 2003) : As the tax relief measures extended to ship-breaking/ghee, cooking oil industries and the general public will have nominal revenue impact, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) will definitely achieve the revenue target of Rs 510 billion set for the current fiscal year (2003-04).

A CBR official told Business Recorder here on Wednesday that the tax agency has not requested the IMF review mission for scaling down of revenue target for fiscal year 2003-04.

CBR Chairman Riaz Ahmed Malik and his team of economic managers assured IMF review mission here on Wednesday that the CBR would meet the revenue target.

However, the Fund has raised question of what measures would be taken to reach Rs 510 billion.

The economic wizards were confident to utilise survey information including taxpayers' profiles for expanding tax net and conveyed these measures to the review mission.

The recent relief measures, including reduction in withholding tax on the import of old ships and edible oil, duty reduction on certain items and rationalisation of value addition on the local supply of ship scrap could not be termed as major tax relief measures.

These relief measures would have nominal impact on the revenue and would have very little revenue implications.

Even when GST on medicines was withdrawn, the IMF permitted the government to slash revenue target, but the CBR successfully crossed the target of Rs 460 billion last year.

The withdrawal of GST on medicines was a step with major revenue implications, but it could not block CBR efforts to achieve the laid down projections.

He said on what basis CBR can demand reduction in the revenue target: CBR has no intention to request the Fund mission to curtail the fixed target of Rs 510 billion for 2003-04.

The CBR surpassed Rs 460 billion last year and would also meet the target fixed for current year.

The reduction in target could become a serious issue in case CBR were not able to achieve last year's target. But the situation is entirely different after surpassing Rs 460 billion collection.

The CBR is committed to meet annual target of Rs 510 billion set for the current fiscal year.

IMF review mission would conduct sixth review under Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF).

Upon successful completion of the review, Pakistan would qualify for seventh tranche of $ 120 million (87 million SDRs) of PRGF.

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