April 26, 2019….Pakistan Press International
Karachi:The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) held a meeting with Sarah Khokhar a consultant working on developing a “Stakeholder Engagement Plan for the Pakistan Revenue Mobilization Project, to be supported by the World Bank.”
Khokhar said the main implementing agency will be FBR, and the project aims at to improve overall revenue receipts by broadening the tax base, automating tax paying systems, improving business intelligence functions, and by facilitating compliance.
The project objectives may be transformational by helping Pakistan to close its large tax gap and achieve fiscal sustainability.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver informed her about experiences with the current tax system in the context of SMEs and issues/concerns of the sector.
Thaver said the sector needs friendly policies, simple return forms, removal of trust deficit, respect for taxpayer, lowering of tax rate, removal of multiple taxes, and treatment of family business under single assessment. As the firm and partners are both liable to pay tax although it is a family business.
The Union urged for tax incentives for new, innovative and import substitution industries.
The Sales Tax system also came under discussion and the SMEs said the rate needs to be reduced and the system of self-assessment be introduced.
The SMEs said the tax exemption limit of Rs400000 needs to be enhanced to Rs600000 and the issue of filers and non-filers re-examined as those whose income is below taxable must not be treated as non-filers because they are not obliged to file return.
Regarding amnesty schemes Thaver said it must be available only for industrialization and amnesty given go those who set up industries. The smugglers, hoarders, black-marketers and the mafia must not be spared. Those who have done money laundering must be simply asked to bring back their money and asked to pay nominal tax to get the benefit of declared money.
Efforts must be made to find ways and means to promote construction industry which is in turmoil due to the difference in the collectors’ rate and market rate. This issue needs to be resolved once and for all because it is destroying the economy.
A parallel economy of foreign currency is prevalent which also needs to be studied and examined by experts and solutions need to be found for this impediment to growth.
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