FPCCI for taking stakeholders onboard to broaden tax base
FPCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has stressed the need for taking serious measures in close consultations with the real stakeholders to broaden tax base and improving tax-to-GDP ratio, as number of return filers have decline by more than 23 percent to 1.31 million tax returns till the first week of Dec 2020 compared to 1.69 million returns filed in the tax year 2019.
FPCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar said the FBR has failed to obtain return of income from NTN holders and increase the number of active taxpayers during the last decade, indicating the bad governance and weak tax management of the tax department.
According to the data, the FBR has received about 23 per cent less income tax returns for the tax year 2020 while the tax received with returns stand at Rs6.5 billion during the period against Rs12.8 billion of the same period of last year, reflecting a decline of 49 percent.
“There is an urgent need of reforming and simplifying the taxation system with the consultation of real stakeholders, besides addressing the issue of double taxation through the integration of provincial and federal government laws and harmonization of FBR and Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA).”
He suggested that taxes should be charged one time by any provincial or federal government, as provinces levy same kind of tax which the federal government has already imposed, escalating the cost of production and discouraging the registered manufacturers.
He called for harmonization of Sales Tax and Income Tax laws, getting rid of conflicting provisions, suggesting enhancing tax base by automation. He demanded the government to improve tax structure so that business and investment could flourish in the country, as the existing tax structure discourages investment. He requested the government to focus on reducing tax rates and expanding tax base by bringing all exempted sectors into the tax net.
He said that high tariff of utilities and RD’s on raw material are also the factors discouraging exports. He said that coordination between the government and the private sector was vital for economic growth, proposing the government to develop policies that could provide conducive business environment in the country.
He called for strict measures to stop illegal trade, as the smuggling is not only causing massive shortfall in revenue collection but also discouraging the legal businesses and documented economy. Majority of the people don’t want to get them registered and preferred purchasing of smuggled goods mainly due to high duties on legal import.