New LCCI chief seeks exemption from audit

Calls for establishing effective mechanism for widening tax net

Our Correspondent/zafar Bhutta September 30, 2018
Calls for establishing effective mechanism for widening tax net. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: Newly elected Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder has called for establishing a good and friendly mechanism to ensure much-needed expansion of the tax net.

“It will encourage people to enter the tax net,” he said at the LCCI’s annual general meeting.

“A scheme should be introduced for the business community in order to exempt from audit those who paid 20% extra tax compared to the previous year,” he suggested. “It will not only attract a huge crowd towards the tax net but will also enable the government to meet its revenue targets.”

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The LCCI chief urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman to extend the date for filing income tax returns till October 30 as the business community was unable to file returns due to elections of trade bodies, problems in the online tax system and various other reasons.

“Extension in the date will not only facilitate the business community but will also strengthen public-private partnership,” he stressed.

Hyder lamented that no land in Lahore was available for industrialisation and recalled that two years ago, the LCCI had identified 66,000 acres of land in the south and north for setting up new industries. However, so far no notification has been issued in this regard.

“The file is still lying in the office of Punjab chief minister,” he said and called for issuing a notification immediately.

Hyder pointed out that the population of Lahore was over 10 million but infrastructure was not up to the mark. “Lahore airport is smaller than the airports in rural areas of China; likewise, Lahore railway station is still where it was in 1947.”

He urged the government to plan an immediate expansion in the Lahore airport and railway station as they were the most important sources of communication.

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The LCCI president also underlined the need for improvement in the ease of doing business, saying international ranking of Pakistan in the doing business index was 147th which should be a matter of concern.

“The cost of doing business is one of the major hurdles in the way of growth of all sectors of the economy whether it is manufacturing or agriculture,” he said. “LCCI has already prepared doable suggestions in this regard.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2018.

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