LAHORE – A number of leading national and multinational companies in Pakistan, working for last many decades, were facing difficulties in the protection of their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). Stringent measures by the law enforcement agencies are direly needed so that the general public is protected from counterfeit products. The consensus was developed at a meeting of Standing Committee on Intellectual Property Rights organized by the LCCI on Friday. The Convener of the committee Mian Muhammad Zakaur Rehman chaired the meeting that was attended by representatives of the Information Technology Sector, Coca Cola, Unilever, Shezan and Nokia among others.Rehman said that the violators of intellectual property rights or the manufacturers of counterfeit products were not only depriving the government of much needed revenue but also denting the reputation of the genuine manufacturers because the fake products are of low quality.He said that there is a lack of awareness in the general public about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights and all the segments of society should play their role to this regard.The meeting was also attended by FBR Director Intelligence and Investigation, who assured the participants that the Federal Board of Revenue would make foolproof arrangements to check the import of counterfeit products in the country.Meanwhile, the Chamber has urged the FBR to withdraw SRO 98(1)2013 as it would affect the businesses adversely. LCCI President said that the SRO 98(I) 2013 would not only increase the financial cost of the businesses but it would also be hitting their cash flows hard.The SRO 98(I) 2013 says that all companies as defined in Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 as are registered for sales tax, FED or Income Tax, shall be subjected to Withholding Tax at one-fifth (l/5th) of the applicable rate of sales tax on all purchases. Furthermore, the persons registered as exporters are also now to be subjected to withholding tax of one-fifth (l/5th) of the applicable rate of sales tax on all purchases from registered persons. He said that the said SRO would also come in the way of documentation of the economy because either the manufacturers or importers would start making supplies to unregistered persons or to such registered persons who are not withholding agents. On the other hand, they said, the withholding agents would also be facing great difficulties in getting raw material from registered persons.