Imran launches broadside against ‘old’ politicians

Assures business community of commitment to reforming FBR

Our Correspondent March 07, 2019
Premier Imran says there is a dire need to reform FBR to collect taxes effectively. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said those who used to say that “democracy is the best revenge” actually took revenge on Pakistan.

“Old politicians should feel ashamed while talking with composed faces,” he said.

He was addressing traders, businessmen and entrepreneurs gathered at the 11th All Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).

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The prime minister also regretted that giving false testimony has become a norm in the country. “It is unfortunate that giving false testimony is not considered bad in the country.”

“We will have to speak the truth,” Imran said and added, “Only societies that speak the truth make progress.”

He stressed the need of adopting a new thinking. “We will have to change our mindset.”

The prime minister called on the business community to join hands with the government to see “Pakistan prosper” and become a “welfare state”.

He went on to say that Pakistan’s founding fathers wanted the country to be based on the model of the first Islamic society under the leadership of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

“I want to make Pakistan a welfare state where the lowest section of society is taken care of by the state,” he said, adding that Western countries have adopted the same model.

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Imran, assuring the business community of the government's commitment towards reforming the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), urged them to play their role as his team in promoting tax culture in the country and pulling it out of poverty through enhanced tax collection.

"No country in the world can progress and move ahead without taxes. The nations which do not pay taxes cannot remain independent and sovereign," he said.

The prime minister referred to quotes from a book, ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’, he received from Malaysian leader Mahathir Muhammad some 20 years back, in which it was stated that the objective of loans given by powerful countries to the poor nations was to make them subservient.

He said it was unfortunate that in a country like Pakistan only 72,000 people declared over Rs200,000 as their monthly income.

The prime minister mentioned the poor state of the country's economic affairs which his government inherited and said that a huge amount Rs2,000 billion out of the total annual revenue collection of around Rs4,500 billion was paid only for servicing of loans, which jumped from Rs6 trillion to Rs30 trillion during the last ten years alone.

He assured the traders that his government was committed and working on reforms in the FBR to boost tax collection by promoting the tax culture, and rationalising and broadening the tax net, adding, the government would not even hesitate to create another FBR if the present one failed in reforms.


With additional input from News Desk, Agencies

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