Business community extends full support to govt for broadening tax net

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan-United States Business Council Founder Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik Tuesday said the entire business community including Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce will extend full support to Prime Minister Imran Khan for broadening tax base across the country to help strengthen the bleak economy on sound footings; thus, lessening the burden on existing taxpayers.

He expressed these views while talking to a traders delegation led by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive member Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad, and patron-in-chief of Anjuman-i-Tajran Liberty Jibreel Qamar Butt,” a press release said.

He said the taxation and growth should go hand in hand, and it can only be done through fair taxation system.

“If growth of business and economy will be choked there will be no increase in tax collection,” he added.

He said ratio of tax payers in Pakistan was even less than Afghanistan, adding the broadening of tax net was must for strengthening the national economy and for the survival of the country.

He urged the prime minister for taking business leaders especially Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other stakeholders into confidence prior to taking a monetary decision and in the process of policy making to achieve desired results.

He said the tax system should be simplified and all revenue collection bodies should be merged into one ministry or body to facilitate the tax payers.

This practice will help in ease of doing business in the country, he said adding according to the World Bank, Pakistan is at 144th number in ease of doing business of the list of 190 countries, which was alarming.

He said plugging of revenue leakage and broadening of tax net would ultimately benefit the existing tax payers in terms of reduction in heavy taxation.

Around 1.8 million people pay taxes in Pakistan while the number of traders paying tax on electricity bills surpasses seven million, this gap can be bridged through sincere efforts backed by the government,” he added.