LAHORE: Commissioner Inland Revenue Ejaz Asad Rasool has said that the amnesty scheme introduced by the Prime Minister is an effort to increase revenue, broaden the tax net and bring those under taxation who had opted to stay out of tax net during last 10 years.
The Commissioner was briefing the LCCI members on Prime Minister Amnesty Scheme here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar presented the welcome address while former president Mian Anjum Nisar, Executive Committee members Zafar Mehmood, Nasir Hameed, Mian Zahid Javaid, Mohammad Afzal and Ibrar Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.
Ejaz Asad Rasool stated that the scheme was not aimed at encouraging the tax evaders but it is for the expansion of tax net and things are moving in right direction therefore government believes that it would be able to draw good results.
He said that the tax amnesty scheme had been announced to revive the economy. He said it would also increase job opportunities on big scale and those who would start businesses under this scheme would also come under the tax ambit. He hoped that this scheme could produce two million more taxpayers. He said that everybody would have to play his role to make Pakistan financially strong.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI Vice President gave a number of proposals to make the Prime Ministers scheme a big success. He said that availability of cheaper energy through hydroelectric means, end to under-invoicing and smuggling, tax reforms, simplification of taxation procedures, expansion in tax ambit by bringing non-taxed sectors into the tax net, downward revision in rate of taxes and cut in number of taxes would help put economy back on track.
LCCI Vice President said that the business community was the backbone of the economy as more than 90% of revenue is being generated through trade & industry, therefore, the sector should be given due facilitation. He said that it is very unfortunate that a businessman who is registered with Income Tax is not registered with Sales Tax and he has to complete all the formalities to get registered with Sales Tax. So, this is a big anomaly that needs to be rectified.
He also expressed reservations on clause 9 of Income Tax Circular 15, 2013 and authority given to the Commissioner under section 122(5) and 122(5A) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.
Kashif Anwar said that the role of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should be to educate, guide and facilitate as it would not only expand tax net but would also help FBR implement its policies in a friendly atmosphere.
He also called for simplification of taxation procedures that are too complicated to understand and because of multiplicity and high rate of taxes. Presently the existing tax-payers are being squeezed that is hitting hard the government’s endeavours aimed at generating required revenues to run the affairs of the government.
He was of the view that the private sector was ready to pay taxes provided it was facilitated, taken into confidence and given due breathing space to do their businesses with peace of mind.
The LCCI Vice President said that the discrimination among the large business sectors and the small businesses should also be done away with as it happens often the big sectors get favours through SROs while the others are subjected to heavy taxation. If the government wanted to introduce some new tax or a duty, it should be across the board.
The government would have to come up with a package of incentives for non-tax payers besides bringing agriculture sector into the tax net. He said that Federal Board of Revenue would not be able to achieve its revenue target without providing a business friendly atmosphere to the business doing people.
Presently the government is focusing on foreign investments, while it would have to come up with incentives to encourage local investments that have gone down considerably due to multiple internal factors. Fool-proof methodology should be evolved and implemented to control under-invoicing and smuggling that were causing huge damage to the genuine businesses, he added.