Sharif tries to woo businessmen with promise of tax cut

Asks political parties to help prepare 25-year economic roadmap.

Express December 20, 2011

KARACHI: In an effort to harness support of the business community, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has said once his party comes to power it will significantly reduce major taxes and duties to expand the tax base and curb tax evasion.

“If we come to power, we will cut corporate and sales tax to 10 per cent while import duties will be reduced to 5 to 10 per cent,” he said while speaking to members of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) at its office here on Tuesday.

“When taxes come down, more people will be willing to pay taxes. And those who continue to evade after reduction in tax rates, our government will strictly deal with the wrongdoers,” he added.

Sharif asked all political parties to sit together and reach a consensus on an economic roadmap spanning over 20 to 25 years. “Once we have an economic roadmap, it will make no difference which party comes to power and which party sits in the opposition.”

To formulate economic policies, PML-N has constituted a manifesto committee, which is giving special attention to the policies that the party will follow in future. “I urge the business community of Karachi to give suggestions to our manifesto committee so that we can start following economic policies from the first day when we come to power,” he said.

Sharif, who faced fierce questions on economic policies, said in reply he would give importance to the power crisis, which is the number one problem of the country today.

Businessmen asked Sharif to come up with a strong roadmap, detailing how his party would tackle problems like tax evasion, power shortage and lower foreign direct investment.

“I have no doubt that Pakistan can overcome economic problems in coming years because we have a strong workforce that just needs right policies to progress,” Sharif said.

However, he recalled that Pakistan was leading the South Asian region as far as economic growth was concerned, but owing to political instability “today Pakistan’s growth rate is the lowest in our region”.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2011.


Not me | 9 years ago | Reply

My guess is 100 companies pay 70% of total taxes. So what Mr Nawaz Shariff is proposing makes sense provided it excludes Banks, Insurance companies,Oil and Gas and Communication sector.

Meekal Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply Has this fellow learned nothing from his earlier folly when he cut taxes and revenue promptly fell! This supply-side Laffer Curve junk has been discarded and thrown in the dust-bin of economic history world-wide. We are supposed to be wiser now. He sounds like those in the Tea Party.
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