ISLAMABAD: President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khalid Iqbal Malik has said that though the present government is making efforts to stimulate commercial activities, but still a lot has to be done to improve business-friendly environment. High tax rates and a large number of taxes in Pakistan are putting much burden on common man and reducing his purchasing power due to which business activities are also suffering. He demanded the government provide level playing field to the private sector to actively take part in CPEC projects.
During an exclusive Interview with Customs Today, he said that complicated taxation system and high tax rates are promoting the culture of tax evasion while the genuine taxpayers are also facing problems. He emphasized that the FBR should focus on simplification of tax system that would help in promoting tax culture and improving tax revenue of the country.
He advised that FBR should adopt friendly approaches to bring potential taxpayers into the tax net and avoid coercive tactics that would be counterproductive for tax collection. We welcomed FBR move to improve tax collection from non-taxpayers, non-filers and low tax payers. He said we have plans to establish new departments in the Chamber to facilitate our members in different aspects. Incubation Centre will be set up to support the startups.
We would give more focus to women entrepreneurship development as well as youth which is a great asset of our country. He welcomed CPEC project and said it will open new horizons of long term cooperation between China and Pakistan and urged that Chinese investors to bring technology and machinery to Pakistan to set up industrial units.
He stressed that Chinese investors should explore maximum joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts in CPEC projects, many sectors of Pakistan’s economy including real estate, construction, building materials, energy and infrastructure development offered lucrative investment opportunities to foreign investors. He said Pakistan needed huge local and foreign investment to execute CPEC projects.
He further said that an efficient, simple and transparent tax system is the need of the hour to attract more investment in the country and emphasized that government should develop a new mechanism to ensure full protection of the interests of law abiding investors who have made investment in Pakistan fulfilling all legal requirements. He called upon the government to address the key issues of exporters on priority basis and evolve a comprehensive new strategy in consultation with private sector to boost exports through diversification and value addition of products.