A Japanese company is planning to introduce electric rickshaws in Pakistan by importing CKD and CBU units, however, existing import duty tariff is making it difficult to compete in the market. The company has requested the government for the elimination of duty tariff on import of electric rickshaws in CKD and CBU form.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is taking steps to resolve the taxation related issues of Japanese investors, particularly delay in payment of refunds, on the basis of recommendations made by Board of Investment (BOI).
BOI has forwarded the proposals of Japanese business groups in Pakistan. The FBR has received a proposal regarding taxation on special economic zone (SEZ) enterprises and taxation on new investment and reinvestment. Investors have proposed speedy refund of advance tax at import stage and timely issuance of exemption certificate for advance tax as well as withholding tax. The increase in the validity of issued exemption certificates is very short. The SEZ enterprise is exempt from all taxes on income, however, minimum tax is collected.
About the taxation on new investments & reinvestments, Japanese investors have proposed that the minimum tax is charged against turnover irrespective of profit or loss. This minimum tax needs to be abolished.
The BOI has also requested the FBR for the abolishment of tax on undistributed profits, which hinders reinvestments. The BOI has forwarded the proposals to FBR for consideration. The FBR may be directed by the PM Office to consider the same.
BOI and Japanese Investors
In the past, on directions of the Prime Minister’s Office, Board of Investment hosted a meeting to address issues faced by Japanese investors in Pakistan. In addition to the major Japanese companies in Pakistan, representatives from the Japanese Consulate in Pakistan as well as Pakistan-Japan Business Forum, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and JICA participated in that meeting.
Japanese companies have been successfully operating in Pakistan for more than 5 decades. Cognizant of the fact that Japanese firms are contributing to the economy of Pakistan, the BOI decided to come to Japanese companies based in Karachi to appreciate their work and help resolve their issues, if any. He assured Japanese firms that BOI will try to address their issues and where possible send the recommendations to the Prime Minister for policymaking and necessary directions to the concerned authorities.
It was also proposed that apart from Bridgestone, Dunlop, and Yokohama, other tyres are being marketed in Pakistan by Japanese companies. Tyres cannot be categorized as luxury goods. Such increase in duty has increased the burden on the local consumers.
The BOI is focusing on simplifying business registration through one window, simplifying tax regime, simplifying procedures, and processes in each stage of the business cycle. The focus of BOI plan is to introduce transparency through simplification of rules and regulations, automation and reduction time and cost involved.
Some facilitative measures including new web-based software for Customs Act, 1969 clearance (WeBOC) have been launched in major ports to improve the customs clearance. Around 70% trade is being cleared through green channels involving no human handling and physical examination for paying taxes.