Senate question hour: ‘Govt waived Rs360b in taxes, duties in 5 years’
ISLAMABAD: The government waived taxes and duties worth Rs.360 billion to various entities in the last five years through official orders, State Minister for Finance, Saleem Mandviwalla informed the Senate on Tuesday.
The Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs), official paperwork without which the bureaucratic machinery does not move, were issued to accommodate the waivers and by-pass existing laws that could not be changed overnight, Mandviwalla said, replying to a question posed by Pakistan Muslim League-N Senator Nuzhat Sadiq.
During its tenure the government waived around Rs.298.1 billion worth of inland revenues, including income tax and sales tax, and Rs.61.3 billion worth of customs duties.
The SROs on tax collection from export-oriented sectors, including textile, could not be changed under the existing circumstances. “The exporting sectors enjoy a zero-rate tax to provide them a competitive edge in the international market and help them earn foreign exchange for the country,” Mandviwalla said.
[The Express Tribune, January 30, 2013]