ISLAMABAD President Asif Ali Zardaris curiosity about the bourses affairs has brightened chances of reopening of probe into nearly a trillion rupees mega scam of 2005 stock market crash that previous regime had hushed up. According to sources, the President asked the people at the helm of affairs of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) to brief him about not only the current issues of the market but also the inside story of the 2005 crash. Presidents Spokesman Farhatuallah Babar told TheNation that day before yesterday, the KSE people were trying to meet the President but they could not do so due to his busy schedule. However, they probably had talked to him on telephone. The President told them to brief Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh over these issues. Likewise, he also directed the Finance Minister to first meet the people of the bourses and then brief him about all these issues. Therefore, todays (Wednesday) meeting of the Stock Exchanges delegation with the Finance Minister was in line with the directions of the President, Babar explained. Since the President is still in Karachi, he might be having a briefing from the Finance Minister after arriving back to the Federal Capital on Thursday, he added. Besides holding a detailed meeting with the Finance Minister on Wednesday morning, the delegation of Managing Directors of the three stocks exchanges namely Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi also attended the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance. The MDs managed to convince the Standing Committee to recommend exempting individual retailer from the Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The Committee also suggested dealing non-resident investors of Stock Exchange, separately, in order to attract foreign investment and remittances. The Committee under MNA Fauzia Wahab took up three Public Petitions on CGT, withdrawal of Rs 8.2 billion by the office of Federal Board Revenue (FBR) from Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Branch, and proposal of Finance Bill to impose minimum 1 percent levy as Turnover Tax (ToT). MD KSE Adnan Afridi briefed the Committee that the Finance Bill had required individual as well as corporate investors to file the returns on gains on quarterly basis, while both were already paying advance tax on their transactions. Therefore, he proposed exempting individual investors from CGT. He argued that the Finance Bill required additional advance filing as against the previous understanding that all indirect tax would be withdrawn or rationalised after the CGT. Later on Secretary Ports and Shipping complained that the Federal Board of Revenue withdrew Rs 8.2 billion from Habib bank Limited (HBL), Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Branch, through coercive and unconventional manners, while the case of enforcement of tax on KPT was sub judice in Appellate Tribunal. Chairman All Pakistan Consumer and Pharmaceutical Products Distributors Association raised the issue that the Finance Bill proposed to levy all businesses run as a company, an association of persons (partnerships) or sole proprietorship with a maximum tax as Turnover Tax (TOT) at the rate of 1 percent, which was going to put all distribution sectors in tight corner. Chairman FBR stated that all the issues raised by the Stock Exchange were already under consideration on the directions of the Ministry of Finance. He also refuted the claim of Ports and Shipping Division on withdrawal of Rs 8.2 billion in unconventional or coercive manners from Habib Bank Limited, KPT Branch, and said that the FBR adopted the normal procedure to collect tax. He also informed that the Turnover Tax on distributor in Finance Bill was just a proposal.