LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) urged the government to introduce ‘Tax Amnesty Scheme’ in order to bring non-taxpayers to the tax net.
LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar Sheikh said that the non-taxpayers should be brought into the tax net with a penalty of 2 to 3 percent tax without asking about the sources of income.
He added that the amnesty scheme would add billions of rupees to the national exchequer. Kashif Anwar said that Pakistan lagged behind in the tax-to-GDP ratio in the region which should be at least 15 percent of the GDP. He suggested that FBR should reintroduce the fixed-tax on an annual income of Rs 5 million. He also stressed that the existing limit of the fixed-tax should be increased to Rs 10 million.
The LCCI official said that the step would bring new taxpayers into the tax net but the government should not demand to conduct audit of the accounts of the businessmen who would qualify in the tax net under the new system. He said the current tax system should be made more simple and easy and the businessmen and traders should be facilitated while filing the electronic tax returns.
Sheikh Kashif also demanded of the government to simplify the sales tax registration system in order to assist the businessmen while the current system made the sales tax registered traders to work as withholding tax agents which multiplied their problems.
Regarding GSP plus status to Pakistan, he said access to the European markets for the Pakistani products was a great achievement of the present government. He elaborated that the duty-free access of our textile products would increase exports across the European markets.
LCCI vice president said the mutual trade between Pakistan and India could only expand if the non-tariff barrier would be removed and the visa policy got relaxed.
He said Pakistani traders should not be wary of the trade with India, although access to Indian market would explore 1.25 billion people for Pakistani traders.
He opposed the idea of allowing Afghan transit trade facility to India, saying the decision might prove detrimental to country’s exports.