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 Rabi ul Awwal 18, 1439 A.H.
December 7, 2017

SRB should review unjust 10 percent GST on Security Agencies: Muffasar Malik

KARACHI: President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, after thoroughly listening to the grievances being faced by Security Agencies in smoothly carrying out their businesses, assured that the Karachi Chamber, being the largest Chamber and actual representative of the business and industrial community, will approach Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) for holding a meeting at the earliest in order to discuss and review the unjust 10 percent General Sales Tax (GST) on Security Services. Exchanging views with members of a delegation from All Pakistan Security Agencies Association (APSAA) who were led by Chairman APSAA Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed during their visit to Karachi Chamber, Muffasar Malik said that SRB should review the unjust 10 percent GST on Security Services which had been raised earlier during the last visit of Chief Minister Sindh to KCCI who immediately directed Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) to discuss the same with relevant stakeholders but unfortunately, neither any meeting was held nor any follow up was carried out. KCCI will seriously take up this matter on priority basis in order to provide some relief to Security Agencies and their clients. Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Vice President Rehan Hanif, Honorary General Secretary APSAA Tauqir ul Islam and others members of APSAA delegation and KCCI’s Managing Committee were also present at the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman APSAA Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed said that it was the prime responsibility of the government to ensure security to the lives and property of citizens but as it was not being done effectively, the business community finds no other option but to hire private security guards, which results in additional expenses on security whereas the unjust GST on Security Agencies has further exacerbated the situation. He said that it was highly unfair to levy GST on complete invoice value instead of only charging on Service Charges, which, if done, would substantially reduce the cost. He said that providing security services is a very difficult job yet they are trying to deliver the best services as per expectations but it was very unfortunate that this important Services Industry suffer badly due to lack of support from the government. “The situation has slightly improved as some recognition is now being given to APSAA but overall, we are largely being ignored and continue to face discrimination”, he added.

Seeking KCCI’s support in convincing the authorities to review the unjust GST on Security Services, he said that Security Agencies in Sindh are paying 10 percent GST whereas 16 percent GST is applicable in Punjab while the other two provinces were also levying double digit GST which has to be withdrawn or reduced to curtail the high cost of Security Services borne by clients who in first place should have been provided security by the State free of cost. Maj. (Retd.) Munir Ahmed sought KCCI’s assistance in convincing the authorities to make APSAA’s membership mandatory for all Security Agencies operating in Pakistan which would certainly help in improving the quality of service.

Earlier, while welcoming the delegation members, President KCCI Muffasar Malik said that the Karachi Chamber is ready to provide full support and cooperation to APSAA for resolving any issue being faced by them in smoothly carrying out their businesses. President KCCI, while expressing deep concern over deteriorating quality of security services being provided by various agencies, informed that the quality of service has been descending due to rising cost. He was of the view that Security Agencies in Pakistan were already facing difficult time and such unjust imposition of taxes have worsened the situation. APSAA delegation members asked Karachi Chamber to support APSAA in raising awareness about legal and illegal Security Agencies particularly amongst members of the business community. They said that Personal Guards, who are usually seen carrying private weapons and wearing blue uniform, simply cannot be considered as Private Security Guards from any Security Agency. It has been observed that majority of these private guards are hired individually and are not part of any Security Agency but they look alike and also give an impression of being a Guard from Security Agency which is not factual and creates a bad impression about all the Security Agencies, particularly when these private guards are involved in any mishap. They stressed that these Private Guards and Private Security Guards have to be classified to avoid the confusion. In this regard, a unique uniform or any other identification has to be introduced and strictly implemented to differentiate between the two categories of guards.