ISLAMABAD: Senator Engineer Humayun Khan Mandokhel, Member Senate Standing Committee on Finance & Revenue, has said that the reversing of the duty on unregistered persons from 19 per cent to 18 per cent will be helpful in collecting more revenue but the step can harm the drive for documenting the unregistered persons. On the other hand, the raise in customs duty and sales tax will result in inflation, ultimately shifting the burden to consumers.
In an exclusive interview with Customs Today, Mandokhel said that here tax officers in the field have to go door-to-door and shop-to-shop for registration purposes and collection of NTNs, while in the rest of world it is obligatory to get registered before opening a shop or any business. All over the world there is a proper registration system which unfortunately we are lacking.
To increase the tax revenue, the first and foremost step is to prevent misuse of tax rebate facility by the top businessmen in Pakistan, Mandokhel added. He said that FBR has decided to track the rich tax evaders by checking their lifestyle and it can easily be done by collecting information about their children’s education, bank records, mobile usage, property, etc.
Talking about collection of revenue and data by FBR, he said that previously the bad reputation of FBR was a big problem in the way of widening the tax net but things are getting better gradually.
He said FBR has introduced a system under which notices carrying a bar code are sent from the main office which helps in accurate tracking and eliminating malpractices. He said that doctors and lawyers should also be brought under tax net because they earn a lot. He said that instead of increasing indirect taxes, the government should enhance direct taxes because this measure will reduce the burden on the poor.
Mandokhel said that the introduction of amnesty scheme for 50,000 vehicles caused a reduction in collection of customs duty this year. Another reason can be an increase in the import of major items through unfair channels. Also, due to price hike and lower purchasing power, fewer things are being imported and less duty collected.
Talking about energy crisis, he said that it is unfair to compare the four months of the present government with the past 5 years during which no work was done to address the problems of the people. Bhasha and Munda dams should have been constructed by the previous governments but the current government is taking this matter seriously. Kalabagh Dam issue has been politicized which has delayed the project for years. He said that it’s the time to build the dam and for this purpose the government should get complete the necessary technical details. Construction of Kalabagh dam can easily store rain water, along with fulfilling our energy needs, he said.
“We have sufficient gas reserves in our country, so there is no need to import gas from Iran,” he said this while replying to a question about early completion of Pak-Iran gas pipeline.
Answering another question about IMF loan, he said that although it is not a good thing but owing to huge financial problems, the loan had to be contracted to correct the balance of payments.