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FBR ‘categorically denies’ news of tax exemption for import of bulletproof vehicles

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  • FBR says cabinet had allowed such facility in 2019 but no notification to this effect has been issued so far.
  • PM’s aide Salman Sufi says there is no question of allowing any duty-free imports to any official.
  • It was reported FBR has exempted senior army officers from all taxes on import of bulletproof vehicles.

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Saturday “categorically denied” issuance of any Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) that allows ex-military officers to import duty and tax-free bulletproof vehicles.

“FBR categorically denies reports appearing in some sections of media that it has issued an SRO allowing duty-free import of bulletproof vehicles,” the revenue board said in a brief statement.

The tax collection body added that the federal cabinet had allowed such a facility in 2019, however, no notification to this effect has been issued so far.

In a separate statement, PM’s aide Salman Sufi said that there is no question of allowing any duty-free imports to any official.

“Everyone shall pay their fair share of duty when importing any vehicle,” he tweeted.

It was earlier reported that after getting approval from the federal cabinet, the FBR exempted senior army officers from payment of all duties and taxes on the import of bulletproof vehicles of up to 6,000cc after their retirement and a notification will be issued soon.

The report said that the FBR’s Member Customs Policy signed an official notification to this effect on Friday but it was not yet placed on the official website.

However, top official sources confirmed to The News on Friday night that the exemption of Customs Duty, Sales Tax, Withholding Tax and Federal Excise Duty (FED) would be applicable on the import of bulletproof vehicles up to 6,000cc by retired military officials, including Lieutenant Generals, services chiefs, Chief of the Army Staff and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

The sources confided to The News that the FBR might place the concerned notification on its website any time soon and that all formal requirements were fulfilled after seeking permission from the federal cabinet for allowing this kind of tax exemption.

However, there will be certain conditions attached to this permission. The FBR will allow the exemption of duties and taxes on the import of such vehicles by the said officials on their retirement on the recommendations of the Ministry of Defence.

All four-star generals are permitted to import two vehicles after retirement, according to the report.

The owners of the vehicles would be required to obtain the prior permission of the FBR for the sale of such vehicles after their import.

If the vehicle is disposed of before a five-year period, the FBR will recover all duties and taxes applicable at the time of import of such vehicles, it added.

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Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Base Of bilateral relations: China And Pakistan Reiterate Their Support For CPEC

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China-Pakistan economic corridor is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and both countries have reiterated their commitment to it. It remains a fundamental aspect of their bilateral relations.

Vice Chairman Zhao Chenxin of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Minister Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Development met in Beijing, where Ahsan Iqbal made this assurance.

The summit made clear how committed China and Pakistan are to advancing their strategic cooperative partnership in all weather conditions.

The focus of the discussion was on how the CPEC was going, with both parties reviewing project development and discussing how the agreement made at the leadership level will lead to the launch of an enhanced version of the CPEC.

In order to improve trade, connectivity, and socioeconomic growth in the area, they emphasised the need of CPEC projects.

The Ml-I Project, the KKH realignment, and the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway—the last remaining segment of the Karachi-Peshawar motorway network—were all to be expedited.

Expanding the partnership’s horizons to include technology, innovation, education, connectivity, and renewable energy sources was another topic of discussion.

Specifically in the special economic zones being built under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CPEX), Vice Chairman NDRC emphasised the possibility of China investing more in Pakistan.

In addition to expressing confidence in the ongoing success of the two nations’ collaboration, Zhao Chenxin reiterated China’s support for Pakistan’s development aspirations.

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Pakistani government raises petrol prices

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A recent announcement states that the price of petrol has increased by Rs 9.99 per litre, to Rs 275.60 per litre.

The cost of high-speed diesel has also increased significantly, rising by Rs 6.18 a litre. Diesel is now priced at Rs 283.63 a litre.

Furthermore, kerosene now costs Rs 0.83 more per gallon.

The cost of products and services is predicted to rise in response to the increase in petroleum prices, further taxing household budgets and jeopardizing the stability of the economy.

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