ICCI calls for cut in high tax rates in next budget to improve tax revenue

Islamabad, March 27, 2018 (PPI-OT): Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that the high tax rates in Pakistan were major cause of promoting tax evasion in the country and emphasized that in the forthcoming federal budget, government should cut tax rates that would help in expanding tax base, improving tax-to-GDP ratio and enhancing tax revenue of the country. He was talking to MPA Raja Hanif Advocate during his visit to Chamber House. Zubair A. Malik Chairman Founder Group, Khalid Chaudhry, Dildar Abbasi, Iftikhar Sethi, Ashfaq Chatha, Muhammad Faheem Khan, Sai fur Rehman Khan, Nisar Langa and others were also present at the occasion.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said that government had imposed 3 percent super tax on income of 500 million and above as well as 4 percent super tax on income of banking companies in 2015 for rehabilitation of IDPs that was extended in 2016 and 2017. He stressed that in the coming budget, government should abolish super tax as there was no further justification for it.

He said 17 percent sales tax in Pakistan was almost highest in the region that has put extra burden on the common man and enhanced the cost of doing business in the country. He said in the next budget, government should reduce GST to single digit level that would provide significant relief to the common man, reduce cost of doing business and give boost to business activities.

He said the prevailing withholding tax regime has made taxpayers of private sector as withholding agents for FBR due to which business community has to spend sufficient time on collection of WHT for the tax department. He urged that in the next budget, government should streamline WHT regime and assign the responsibility of collecting WHT to FBR officials so that business community could fully focus on promoting business activities.

Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI said that the average rate of tax on corporate income in the region was less than 23 percent while in Pakistan due to multiplicity of taxes including 2 percent workers’ welfare fund and 5 percent workers’ participation fund, average tax rate on corporate income went up to 38 percent, which was not justified. They said that in the next budget, government should bring down average tax rate on corporate income that would encourage new investment and strengthen corporate sector in the country.

Speaking at the occasion, MPA Raja Hanif Advocate supported the proposals of ICCI Office Bearers for reduction in tax rates and stressed that government should finalize budget proposals in consultation with private sector. He said that business community was playing key role in the economic development of the country and their key issues needed to be resolved on priority basis.He assured that he would take up the highlighted issues with relevant authorities for redress.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

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