Lahore - The Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has agreed to maintain 0.3 percent withholding tax rate on banking transaction in December as well, besides extending the last date by a month for filing income tax returns and statement for tax year 2015 till Dec 31.

The Federal Minister agreed during a meeting with the delegation of United Business Group and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry that 0.3 percent rate of withholding tax will continue till December 31 so that all matters are resolved in this regard.

He said that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will prepare a summery and send it to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in this regard. Finance Minister added that after the approval from the ECC, the 0.3 percent withholding tax rate will be imposed on any banking transaction during December this year. He added that Rs 6.7 trillion targets are set for the second quarter of the current year for FBR.

Senator Ishaq Dar also emphasised the active role of traders and business community for economic progress in the country. He also stressed the role of chambers of commerce and industry to act as a bridge between the government and the traders for active coordination aimed at augmenting economic development.

The minister said that the overall improvement in the security situation and growing economic activities had been received well potential by foreign investors. The international rating agencies had given positive ratings to Pakistan’s economy and now it was time to consolidate our economic gains.

The United Business Group delegation led by its chairman Iftikhar Malik had urged the Federal Minister to extend the last date till Dec 31 for filing income tax returns.

The delegation comprised of TDAP chief executive S.M Muneer and FPCCI President Mian Adrees. The UBG delegation noted that the business community and specially the traders are expecting some sort of incentive scheme from the FBR, therefore, they are not turning for filing the returns, which also make it necessary to extend the date.

The businessmen were of the firm view that the date will be extended up to Dec 31, 2015 for the purpose of proper compliance of the matter.

The UBG chairman also pinpointed various problems which are hampering the filing of income tax return. He said that traders are ready to join hands with the FBR to enhance tax net, playing their role to unearth new taxpayers, but the tax department should also take them onboard before formulating national tax policy. The government only needs to make tax system simple and easy and traders will always stand along with it for improving taxation system.

Ishaq Dar on this occasion referred to the major economic indicators in the current fiscal year. He said that in the first four months of the current fiscal year, revenue generation stood at Rs 821.2 billion - a growth of 13.9 percent compared to the corresponding period in the last year. Foreign direct investment, which was $200.7 million in July-October 2014-15, now stands at $216.2 million in July-October of this fiscal year, showing an enhancement of 7.7 percent, he added. He appreciated the business community for their sincere cooperation with the government and assured that every effort would be made to provide credit to SMEs.