Textbooks for quake-hit areas: Tax exemption on import of paper likely
ISLAMABAD: The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) is likely to allow sales tax and customs duty exemption on the import of paper to print textbooks and exercise books for the students of earthquake-affected areas.
The government is to provide free of cost textbooks and exercise books to the students of primary, middle, higher/higher secondary schools in earthquake-affected areas of the NWFP and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The matter of providing textbooks and exercise books to the students of the affected areas of the NWFP and AJK was discussed at length at a conference on education and rehabilitation held recently.
The total demand for textbooks and exercise books in affected areas of the NWFP and AJ&K was discussed at the conference. The modalities of procurement, ie, purchase, off the shelf or printing through textbooks boards/publishers with timeframe and its financial packages was also considered.
The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) was requested to exempt printing of textbooks and exercise books for earthquake-affected areas of the NWFP and AJK from tax. It was decided that all printing of textbooks would be on a specified colour code for distinguishing exclusively the printing for earthquake-affected areas.
The conference decided that publishers should stamp each textbook that it has been specially printed for earthquake-affected areas of the NWFP and AJK and were not for sale in other areas.
The education departments of AJK and the NWFP were asked to forward consolidated demand for textbooks class-wise to the federal ministry of education, Islamabad. The needs of each department would be met by buying textbooks off the shelf and by getting them printed by Textbooks Boards/Teacher Foundation, AJK. The chairmen of the Punjab and NWFP textbooks boards agreed to cooperate and print textbooks and exercise books for the education departments of AJK and the NWFP. The two chairmen requested for exemption from sales tax and customs and import duties for import of paper. They said 200 ton paper would have to be imported for AJK and 2,000 ton for the NWFP.
The federal minister of education has decided that initially the CBR will be asked to exempt 100 ton paper for AJK and 1,000 ton paper for the NWFP from sales tax and customs import duty.
The chairman of the Pakistan Textbook Board offered to provide textbooks from class IX to X11 as donation to AJK. The AJK government will provide details about the quantity of textbooks needed.