KARACHI: Former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that his nine-point reforms programme for sustainable economic growth seems to have been lost somewhere as it is not in the current budget.
According to a press release on Friday, in his address at the Post-Budget seminar organized by the Southern Regional Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) the previous day, he said the government is required to pursue the programme introduced by him during the present regime.
He said that the delay in the imposition of VAT would not affect the IMF programme. "The IMF does not direct us to impose any specific tax," he added. He said that a lack of resources and an abysmal tax-to-GDP ratio are some of the major causes behind a low economic growth. "We have to enhance our tax base as all the sectors are required to be brought under the tax net," he added.
He noted that the tax-to-GDP ratio and saving level in Pakistan are the lowest in the entire region, adding that there is a need to increase saving ratio by one percent every year in the next ten years.
He was of the view that Withholding Tax on stock exchanges should have been removed after the imposition of FED. "We had promised that the Withholding Tax would be removed after the imposition of FED on stock exchanges," he said and added that this commitment needs to be fulfilled.
He was not in agreement with the assertion that the present declining trend at the Karachi Stock Exchange is due to imposition of Capital Gains Tax. "The KSE has reacted positively and its index registered healthy gains on the first day after the presentation of budget," he said.
According to him, every sector should be brought under tax net and every income should be subject to tax.
He was of the view that the government should lay focus on agriculture sector, so that this important sector also contributes its share to GDP growth.
Earlier, in his speech, he discussed the major economic issues of the country and gave his suggestions for their solution.
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