New tax bill: 'Protests will have no impact'

Gilani says he is “totally convinced of the necessity to impose the reformed general sales tax (RGST).”

Quatrina Hosain December 10, 2010

ON BOARD PM’S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said he was “totally convinced of the necessity to impose the reformed general sales tax (RGST).” He commented that “different people are playing to the gallery,” adding that the opposition had a right to protest, but protests would have no impact on his government.  Talking to the media during the flight back to Pakistan, Gilani seemed optimistic as he commented “If members support the bill, then it will pass.”

Regarding taxing agricultural income, the prime minister said he believed “whoever earns should pay tax.” But he added the caveat that the decision to impose tax on agricultural income rested with the provincial governments.

Defending the decision to  impose the RGST, Gilani said people pay taxes all over the world but the Pakistani people are not used to paying taxes. But when you expect other countries to give you aid, that money comes from their tax-payers, he added.

The prime minister insisted that his party would continue to follow reconciliatory politics but insisted the opposition has to play its role. Talking about his coalition partners, Gilani said: “We have no experience of coalition governments” but predicted that future governments would remain coalitions, suggesting that it would be unusual for any one party to win the majority in a House of 342 members.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2010.


Noor | 10 years ago | Reply In China you get the death penalty for tax evasion! Each and every one of the 1.3 billion population of china pay taxes, from east to west and north to south, even those living in the most rural areas of china pay income taxes. If they fail to fill out their tax returns or if they falsify their statements then the chinese government/ruling communist party arrest them and are immediately put to death!
A Suhail | 10 years ago | Reply @Fayyaz. So you are saying that we need to tax the MNA's and leave all the traders, industrialists etc etc alone? So these traders from lahore, karachi etc are not rich as compared to politicians?. Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. The problem is no one wants to pay taxes in Pakistan and everyone wants someone else to pay the taxes. Over 60% of our economy is undocumented, RGST if implemented and enforced will make sure that these undocumented sectors come online so they be taxed accordingly. We have to start from somewhere, right or we can keep on begging the world for money.
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