Govt, opposition must evolve consensus on charter of economy

Published: December 7, 2017
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Business leaders call for setting up independent tax commission. PHOTO: REUTERS

Business leaders call for setting up independent tax commission. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Given the current economic spiral of the country, the government and opposition parties must put their heads together and find common ground on a charter of the economy to curtail the influence of politics in the fiscal policy.

This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal at a session on ‘Designing Better Federal and Provincial Tax Reforms’. The session was part of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute’s (SDPI) 20th Annual Sustainable Development Conference (SDC).

On issues relating to demand and supply in Pakistan’s fiscal structure, Afzal stressed the need for communicating the importance of paying taxes to the private sector and members of the general public.

Former finance secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan highlighted the constitutional and jurisdictional issues in the country’s tax regime.

Pakistan Business Council CEO Ehsan Malik stressed the need for setting up an independent tax commission at the federal level while formulating a national tax policy.

In this regard, he recommended building a platform for robust private sector representation.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Adnan Jalil called for an inter-governmental tax harmonisation commission to tackle the jurisdictional issues and the dreaded double taxation apart from controlling increased compliance costs.

National electricity plan

With complaints of loadshedding rising even as the government claims to have increased production,  Federal Minister for Water and Power Awais Leghari said that they were working on building a national electricity plan to facilitate consumers.

Speaking at a session on ‘Pakistan’s energy future: Governance and Transformation’, he said that the plan would allow consumers to select the company from which to draw power.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2017.

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