Cut in privileges of non-filers suggested

'Tax base will have to be increased, the country cannot run on 9.5% tax-to-GDP ratio,' the minister told.

Irshad Ansari June 14, 2024


Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance proposed on Thursday a complete ban on the purchase of cars and houses as well tickets for foreign travel by the non-filers, amid warning that the country could not run on 9.5% tax to gross domestic product (GDP) ration.

The committee met here with its chairman Salim Mandviwala in the chair. Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, who attended the meeting, told the members that higher taxes would be imposed on those having higher incomes.

“The tax base will have to be increased, the country cannot run on 9.5% tax-to-GDP ratio,” the minister told the committee. To expand the tax base, he said that there would be an end-to-end digitisation of taxes. “Higher incomes will be taxed more.”

The minister emphasised the need for ending the term of non-filers – which implies those who did not file their income tax returns, hence remain out of the tax net. He said that those non-filers would be allowed only for Umrah and Hajj travel.

On that Senator Mohsin Aziz suggested that those without the National Tax Number (NTN) should be banned from buying cars and houses. He added that 80% of the buyers in the industry the non-filers. Senator Faisal Vawda said that even for Hajj and Umrah travel, one had to be a filer.

Senator Mohsin Aziz further said that bringing the export sector under the normal tax regime had compounded its problems. Senator Anusha Rehman said that the tax on mobile phones should be reduced.

While answering questions from the committee members, Aurangzeb said that 31,000 retailers in six cities would be brought into the tax net from July. He warned that interest payments on the national debt had exceeded the country’s tax revenues.


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