1)VAT is levied on goods and services while sales tax is imposed
generally on goods. Contrary to sales tax VAT has no cascading
effect. VAT is a multistage tax, levied only on the value added at
each stage in the chain of supply of goods and services with the
provision of a set-off for the tax paid at earlier stages in the chain.
Thus, VAT eventually becomes a single point tax.
VAT will cover supply (including import) of both goods and services
at uniform rate of 15 percent unless exempted under the VAT law.
The businesses whose annual turnover is less than Rs.7.5 million
will be out of VAT net.
2)LAHORE, April 18: The Federal Ministry of Industries is to review the tariff and tax structure for edible oils imports with a view to ascertaining its impact on the local production of the commodity and adjusting it to encourage local industry.
Taking cognizance of the staggering bill of edible’s imports and its mounting trend, the Industries Ministry has recently constituted a committee comprising representatives of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL), Pakistan Oil Development Board (PODB), solvent industries, farmers organization like Kisan Board and Farmers Association of Pakistan and some individual farmers and groups to find ways and means to scuttle imports and enhance local production. The first meeting of the committee is to be held in Islamabad on Saturday.
One of the issues likely to be taken up by the meeting is the cess on imports imposed for funding PODB. The cess provides the organization with financial resources for promoting edible crops. This ties PODB’s financial health with increase in imports, that is, higher imports mean more money for it but any reduction in imports would undermine its programme for boosting indigenous production of edible oils. The cess motivates PODB for increasing imports rather than controlling and reducing them.
High imports have also badly hurt the crushing industry. They have added to factors contributing towards migration from rural areas to urban centres as another door for employment opportunities near homes is closed when this industry becomes idle or less than fully functional. Many landless farmers and even small landowners look for work as labourers in off-season and solvent industry has been a good opening for them in the past.
A participant from the private sector who wished to remain anonymous told Dawn that no agenda for the meeting had been circulated but he hoped that its deliberations would take into account the high cost of foreign exchange spent on the imports and the impression that some importers have the final say in the formation of the government’s policy on edibles. They influence the government in adopting policies that have an adverse effect on the growth of edible’s crops.
These elements have been instrumental in discouraging edible’s crops in Pakistan by ensuring that there was no support price for the produce. Some farmers had taken interest in growing canola and sunflower but gave up the crops after failing to find buyers at a fair price. This disheartened them and they turned to other cash crops.