Widening tax net: PM aide terms amnesty scheme breakthrough

Says stakeholders consulted widely to make new budget friendly

Our Correspondent April 07, 2018
Says stakeholders consulted widely to make new budget friendly PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMONS

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan has said that the tax amnesty scheme, announced by the premier a day ago, is a big breakthrough that will help expand the tax net as revenue collection always remains under pressure for a variety of reasons.

Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday, accompanied by Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Akhtar said the government had made reasonable progress on the economic front and took bold decisions in the larger interest of the economy.

He revealed that consultations had been held with stakeholders on a vast scale to make the upcoming budget friendly, adding the business community had been given relief in rules and regulations wherever possible.

He asked people having taxable income to pay tax which would ease the burden from existing taxpayers and pointed out that the government had taken measures to make the real estate sector documented.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister of state for finance emphasised that industrial growth was a must for progress and the government had prepared the new budget for long-term benefit.

"We are trying to enhance revenue by improving the existing tax recovery system; attitude of tax collection machinery should be friendly with the business community," he said. "Systematic efforts are being made to fill the gap between taxpayers and tax collectors."

He called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a road that would lead to economic development and prosperity not only for Pakistan and China, but also for the entire region.

CPEC would help promote agriculture sector of Pakistan, besides promoting other sectors of the economy, he said.

LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid was of the view that political instability and economic uncertainty, which had a direct link, coupled with a weak and outdated tax system, had pushed down Pakistan's ranking on the Ease of Doing Business index from the 144th to 147th place. "It indicates a deteriorating economic situation of the economy," he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2018.

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