‘Budget will be friendly for businesses’

State minister for finance says govt considering many measures

Imran Rana February 18, 2018
State minister for finance says govt considering many measures PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMON

FAISALABAD: The federal budget 2018-19 will be business-friendly and efforts would be made not to impose new taxes, said Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan.

The government understands that the progress and prosperity of Pakistan is directly linked with industrial growth, said the minister while addressing an event at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) on Saturday. A draft of budget proposals was also presented at the event.

He said that he will visit Karachi, Sukkur, Peshawar and other cities to discuss matters of mutual interest with all sectors of economy.

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Regarding the coercive attitude of tax collectors, Khan said that a systematic effort would be made by restricting direct contact between the taxpayers and collectors.

He said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will be requested to bring each and every person with taxable income into the tax net without the use of coercive measures. He said the FCCI should also cooperate in this drive and request its members to pay taxes voluntarily.

Regarding the tax rate, he disclosed that the government is actively considering a proposal to increase the minimum tax slab to Rs600,000-800,000. Regarding corporate tax, he said that its ratio could also be trimmed from 30% to 20% and told that it could be further reduced to 15%, if the government is able to absorb this decrease.

He said that in 2014, being parliamentary secretary, he had demanded that the wealth deposited in Swiss banks should be brought back, but there was no law at the time to materialise this demand. However, after successive efforts of four years, the government has now reached an agreement to get information, he added.

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He also mentioned that during his visit to Italy three MoUs were signed under which Institute of Marble Cutting and Polishing, Institute of Leather and Shoes, Institute of Fashion and Design and Institute of Knitwear would be established.

He said that he will try his best to house the Institute of Fashion at the National Textile University. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2018.

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