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ICCI President wants equitable taxation, removal of SRO-608 for businessmen

ICCI President wants equitable taxation, removal of SRO-608 for businessmen

ISLAMABAD:  The government should pursue a policy of equitable tax system in an effort to broaden the tax net and improve revenues, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Shakeel Munir said.

The government should immediately withdraw SRO-608 to save the business community from further problems, he added. In a statement, he said all major chambers of the country had already opposed the levy of tax at retail level and called on the FBR to withdraw SRO-608 as in the presence of huge smuggling and under-invoicing, it would not be possible for the government to achieve desired results.

Munir said at a time when the business community was facing many challenges including gas and electricity shortages and was looking for a relief package, the FBR was adopting arm-twisting tactics by issuing anti-business SROs. He added the new tax measures like SRO-608 were bound to create more difficulties and halt the efforts aimed at reviving business and economic activities. Munir said instead of withdrawing concessions and exemptions from all the untaxed sectors, the government was taking coercive steps to squeeze the existing taxpayers. According to him, the government ought to take strong policy measures to eliminate smuggling and under-invoicing.

“The business community is fully aware of the need of improving the tax-to-GDP ratio, but such objectives could not be achieved by taking unilateral measures, rather the government could achieve positive results through facilitating traders and industrialists.” He was of the view that only a fair tax system backed by long-term stability could steer the country out of current challenges and put it on a sustainable growth path.