ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the announcement of newly elected Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to widen the tax base of the country by bringing every affluent individual including those sitting in the parliament into the tax net in order to improve the tax revenue and ensure better socio-economic development of the country.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the announcement of new Prime Minister that “those who do not pay tax and are living a luxurious life will have to pay tax now” was very encouraging as our country badly needed enhanced tax revenue to improve infrastructure and uplift living standards of its people.
He said that Pakistan has great scope to mobilize additional tax revenue as according to FBR’s own analysis, our country has the potential to collect Rs.5500 to Rs.6000 billion tax revenue. However, He wondered why no serious efforts were made so far to exploit this huge tax potential for the due to which burden on existing taxpayers was increasing.
ICCI President said that according to FBR’s own report, active taxpayers for the year 2015 were only 1.20 million out of which almost half were salaried persons. He was of the view that Pakistan could not achieve better economic development without bringing all potential taxpayers into the tax net.
He said that NADRA had reportedly offered to share a list of around 795,000 potential taxpayers with FBR who were not on the tax role and had asked for a specific percentage of tax collected from these cases as its share. He called upon the Prime Minister to issue directions to NADRA that being a government organization, it should fully cooperate with FBR in efforts aimed at identifying new taxpayers.
Khalid Iqbal Malik said that the prevailing complicated tax system was one of the major constraints in promoting tax culture and urged that FBR should focus on simplification of tax system to make it fair and just. He assured that ICCI would fully cooperate with the government in efforts aimed at broadening tax net in the country.