The Financial Express

PPP Office seeks a host of tax benefits for new areas

Aims to catalyse pvt investment

| Updated: July 18, 2019 11:43:41

Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected

The Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority has sought tax benefits for some new areas to help attract private investors, officials said.

The agency, under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), has requested the revenue board to offer the benefit for utility services such as power transmission and water supply.

Other sectors include multi-modal transport hub, health, logistics, planned residential complex, light rapid transit, light train transit, educational infrastructure and manufacturing.

The PPP authority has put forwarded its proposals in a meeting held on Monday at the PMO where senior officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) were present.

It was the first meeting of the committee, headed by PMO secretary, which was formed to review tax exemptions.

Officials, who attended the meeting, said the PPP authority has singled out the sectors intended to attract new investment as these are not enjoying the tax benefit such other projects do.

They said since the number of PPP projects is on the rise in recent times, offering tax benefit is necessary for such projects considering the importance, nature and priority.

The agency officials said in the meeting tax officials, in principle, agreed to consider those sectors for tax waiver.

Earlier, there was a decision of the ministry of finance on extending the existing tax benefit for three PPP projects on light rapid transit, light train transit, educational infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

Currently, PPP projects are enjoying different forms of tax benefit under three separate Statutory Regulatory Order (SROs), issued by the NBR.

Some 14 PPP projects, including national highways and expressways, are allowed to enjoy 10 years' tax exemption from the date of starting commercial operation.

Also, expatriate technicians, who are employed in the PPP projects, are entitled to enjoy 50 per cent tax exemption for three years.

The government has a target to implement 30 per cent projects of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) under the PPP initiative.

In the meeting, the PPP authority raised some of the pending tax-related issues, which were not addressed by the NBR.

In a meeting on June 9, 2017, a series of decisions on the tax measures were taken, but those were not implemented owing to the non-issuance of SROs.

Reiterating those demands, the authority sought waiver of entire Value Added Tax (VAT), Supplementary Duty and Customs Duty for re-exportable plants, machinery and spare parts, which are required for implementing PPP projects.

It has also proposed calculating the depreciation facility for assets of PPP projects for the full tenure of the projects instead of the existing calculation from 2.0 per cent to 10 per cent.

The authority has sought exemptions from the payment of stamp duty on the sales of company shares, transfer of properties, transfer of shares and debenture of listed companies.

Other proposals of the PPP authority include tax benefit for the construction of high-rise residential apartment building for low and middle income group people at Jhilmil residential project and Payra Port dredging.

Currently, there are 72 projects approved under the PPP Authority.

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