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‘Low tax to GDP ratio hinders delivery of essential services’

‘Low tax to GDP ratio hinders delivery of essential services’

SIALKOT: Speakers at a seminar admitted that Pakistan was facing serious challenges to deliver essential services to the poor people due to low tax to GDP ratio. More than 23% of population lives below poverty line and 50% of population is food insecure.

They said, “It is the need of the hours that we pay taxes fairly to contribute in country’s development and government should spent it to provide essential services in a transparent manner.”

The seminar and a walk on Making Pakistan Tax Fair was organised by Tax Justice Coalition Pakistan at a hotel.

Oxfam Novib Programme Manager Asim Jaffry said, “We are going to launch a campaign in the whole country to pay the taxes in fair manners.”

He said that transparent tax system should be introduced where common people could get all kind of information regarding the taxes.

Former Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Sheikh Abdul Majeed said that it was need of the hour to reform tax system to broadening the tax base, taxpayers were facing problems because of inefficacy of tax authorities. The SCCI would support civil society to promote tax culture to provide relief and social services to poorest.

Loural, Ambassador for World Peace Committee South Africa, was of the view that those nations who progressed introduced transparent tax system and everybody has to pay taxes accordingly.

Muhammad Arsalan Khan, District Coordinator, Sehar (Pakistan) said that rich are not paying tax, poor paying taxes equal to middle class which reflect that the government failed in broadening tax base and tax collection from powerful landlords.

Network for Consumer Protection Advocacy Manager Tariq Sattar, District Officer Social Welfare Department Sarwar Ehsan, human rights activist Jabbar Ahmed Khan, Executive Director CDC Abdul Shakoor Mirza, Helping Edge President Malik Aftab Elahi also addressed the participants.

After the seminar, a walk was also arranged from the hotel to DCO’s Office. Scores of citizens participated in the walk and shouted slogans in favour of fair tax system and poverty reduction.