ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to take urgent measures for business friendly tax reforms to broaden the tax base so that taxpayers could willingly come forward to pay tax and ensure voluntary compliance of tax laws.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the prevailing complex and unfair tax system in Pakistan was a major hurdle in expanding the tax net, therefore, a simple tax system with low tax rates and low compliance cost was the need of the hour to enhance the tax revenue of the country.
He said that in an effort to widen the tax net and ensure tax compliance across Pakistan, government has initiated a massive drive for the recovery of taxes from big and influential tax evaders. However, he stressed that such drive should not create any kind of unnecessary harassment in the business community and the taxpayers.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that if FBR has authentic information about any genuine tax evading businessman, the department should first take the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the respective region on board so that instead of taking any harsh measures, genuine tax evaders could be brought into the tax net with mutual efforts.
He said that the government should develop a tax system that should encourage people to pay tax instead of evading it. He said the high tax rates in Pakistan were also promoting the culture of tax evasion and government should revise tax rates to make them affordable for taxpayers. He said the high general sales tax rate in Pakistan was a major cause of high cost of doing business and high inflation. He said that the government should have reduced GST in the mini-budget to provide some relief to the common man. He also stressed that government should avoid bringing another mini-budget because mini budgets have always brought more problems for the business community as well as for the general public.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that the current tax system was also quite unfair as industry was paying highest tax to the national exchequer while the share of agriculture and services sectors was quite low as compared to their share to the GDP. He emphasized that government should take measures to remove such distortions from the taxation system to make it equal and fair for all sectors of the economy.