Economic vision: MQM unveils Altaf Hussain’s financial proposals

Published: May 13, 2012

Share of indirect taxes in the total revenue collection would be reduced from 68% to 60% under the MQM leader’s economic vision. PHOTO: APP/FILE

KARACHI: 

Calling for taxing “all taxable incomes” by broadening the tax base without raising tariffs, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) issued a paper on Saturday titled “Altaf Hussain’s Economic Vision” along with guidelines for the Federal Budget 2012-13.

Addressing a ceremony at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), MQM MNA and Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar said that the share of indirect taxes in the total revenue collection would be reduced from 68% to 60% under the MQM leader’s economic vision.

“Real sovereignty can only be achieved by developing a strong economy, which can’t be built on heavy indirect taxation” Sattar said.

Budget proposals prepared by MQM’s economic team include a reduction in the sales tax rate from 16% to 12%. The proposal also calls for a decrease in the maximum import duties to 10% with the minimum limit of 5%.

The MQM is in favour of the abolition of the petroleum levy which, according to Sattar, has made the life of ordinary people miserable.

There were clear signs of resentment in the KCCI auditorium against Punjab’s politicians, who have been terming the allocation of energy resources biased towards Sindh. Former KCCI president Siraj Kassim Teli was particularly critical in this regard.

“If you want the distribution of resources on the basis of your 62% share in the country’s population, then you should also pay taxes according to the same criterion,” he told the audience.

It will be the first time in Pakistan’s history that a political party is going to release shadow provincial and federal budgets, Sattar said about the MQM’s upcoming shadow budgets.

“I’m going to hold meetings with your different committee members to reconcile any differences between your and Altaf Bhai’s economic visions,” he told KCCI office bearers present on the occasion.

The MQM’s economic vision calls for curtailing the maximum landholding limit and absentee land landlordism besides promising to abolish support prices in the agriculture sector.

Sattar said the top priority should be the energy sector. “The MQM will ensure that subsidies remain for the next few years until we become self-sufficient in energy.”

The MQM supports the provision in tax laws, which calls for computerised national identity card numbers of the customers of every manufacturer, importer and exporter along with bank account trails.

“This measure is presently non-implementable, but it’ll be pursued… and implemented over a period of two years.”

According to the economic vision, imports are subject to taxation unfairly under import duties, sales tax, income tax, withholding tax and value-added tax at the import stage, which leads to increased smuggling and under-invoicing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Imran
    May 13, 2012 - 4:48AM

    Actually this is very good!!

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  • Khurram Ashfaq
    May 13, 2012 - 9:30AM

    No political party ever talks about reducing undue Government expenses

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  • revo
    May 13, 2012 - 7:06PM

    these are basically Election / local bodies election proposals

    Every political party comes with ” Visions ” but hardly they implement for Pakistan , except for their own interests

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  • Was a Pakistani
    May 13, 2012 - 10:42PM

    First time someone has Coe up with a plan… Let’s look at it no matter how iffy cult it maybe o achieve it

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  • Parvez
    May 14, 2012 - 12:06AM

    It’s easy to talk sense when you know it will only be a paper exercise. The political will to do ‘the right thing’ just does not exist in the ruling party of which the MQM is vital prop.

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  • May 14, 2012 - 1:41AM

    There should be tax on Bhatta as well.

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  • random
    May 14, 2012 - 2:37AM

    what Bs. a highschooler can make such broad assumptions. and shadow budgets don’t mean anything..

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  • Zamir Malik
    May 14, 2012 - 3:23AM

    Sorry to say But it is my request to every Politician of Pakistan to leave this work on the shoulders of Economists, accountants and Business professionals. You are good in politics and every politician must stick to their profession as in my view Politics is a Profession too. I have no idea why every politician pretends to be the jack of all trades weather it is Shahbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, Zardari Sahib, Altaf, Asfandyaar or any other. Jis ka Kaam usi ko sanjhay. Economics is a complex phenomena and it should be dealt with accordingly.

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  • Khurram
    May 14, 2012 - 3:54AM

    Well I could only say Lol at the saying of Siraj Kassim Teli. He said

    If you want the distribution of resources on the basis of your 62% share in the country’s population, then you should also pay taxes according to the same criterion,”

    The Punjab rhetoric is very much evident here. But does Mr Teli know any functionality of Trade in One federal Country like Pakistan???. I want to tell him that since Punjab’s Population is around 100 million so infact they consume 65 percent of the total products either imported in Karachi. Karachi is a port city. The products that arrive in Pakistan and destined for Punjab which accounts for more than 65 percent of total Karachi trade are Taxed in Karachi, If Tommorow Punjab will establish its dry port in Punjab and will start collecting tax from within Punjab then the next day the figure of 62 percent will tumble to less than 20 Percent as all goods destined for Punjab will not be taxed in Karachi. Secondly if Goods produced in Karachi dont want to benefit Pakistan at all as they want to consume all Tax on their own them then why not stop consuming goods from Karachi as a whole and start trading with India and the other option is that 65 percent of total goods destined for Punjab could be routed through Mumbai Port so that next time traders of Karachi will see the reality and will also learn some Trading rules in a federal country. Mumbai is nothing without South India and North India and in a similar manner Karachi is nothing without Punjab as more than 50 percent of trade of Karachi is dependent on Punjab.

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  • Bhatta Burnt Out
    May 14, 2012 - 6:17AM

    I am personally burnt out from Bhatta Khors in Karachi, with a threat to be killed, if I did not pay. How can you trust such an important task, like national cash handling from a Yo Yo Lyer and Looter. One party took all the money and deposited it in Swiss Bank. This time it will be Bank in London.

    If the proponent (Altaf ) cannot trust his life to Pakistani public, how can he expect Pakistani People trust their resources to him ???????

    Bhatta Burnt Out

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  • ayaz bukhari
    May 14, 2012 - 6:18AM

    finally altaf hussain has got some thing to speak.

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  • J from Dallas
    May 14, 2012 - 6:48AM

    How can a political party that is in power both at the federal and provincial level make a shadow budget?

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  • PakLand
    May 14, 2012 - 7:23AM

    As a matter of fact there is truth in the report if you look with an unbiased approach.
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