Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

FPCCI and UBG welcome Tax Amnesty Scheme

LAHORE May 15   (          ) Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and United Business Group (UBG)  Wednesday  unanimously highly welcomed tax-amnesty scheme announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan and termed it a very positive step of the government to bring tax evaders under tax net by exposing their undocumented  and undeclared properties and wealth within country and abroad.FPCCI President Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai and   founder chairman Pak-Us Business Council and veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik here today discussed this amnesty scheme in details in regard of its benefits to economy of the country.Daroo Khan said new tax amnesty scheme was a right step taken by the government to bring tax evaders under tax net besides enhancing the country’s revenue base.He said increasing tax base and revenue generation was imperative for provision of better economic and social services to people.He further said Pakistan needed such type of amnesty scheme because people transferred their money abroad due to terrorism and poor law and order situation in the past. “The law and order situation is now fully restored in the country and people can bring their money back by taking full advantage of the new scheme,” he added. He said that all must avail this gold opportunity and whiten their wealth and hidden   properties through legal process and contributes towards national economy.Daroo Khan also expressed the concern that rupee devaluation was affecting all businesses; therefore, the government must put in place measures to contain this trend, besides promoting business-friendly policies for speedy economic growth.While  appreciating this amnesty scheme, Iftikhar Ali Malik said the entire business community including FPCCI and UBG, all its affiliated chambers, trade bodies and associations welcomed this amnesty scheme and extended full support to Prime Minister Imran Khan for broadening tax base across the country to help strengthen the bleak economy on sound footings; thus, lessening the burden on existing taxpayers.He said that the taxation and growth should go hand in hand, and it can only be done through fair taxation system. “If growth of business and economy will be choked there will be no increase in tax collection,” he added. He said that ratio of tax payers in Pakistan was even less than Afghanistan, adding the broadening of tax net was must for strengthening the national economy and for the survival of the country.He said that the tax system should be simplified and all revenue collection bodies should be merged into one  body to facilitate the tax payers. This practice will help in ease of doing business in the country, he said, adding that according to the World Bank, Pakistan is at 144th number in ease of doing business of the list of 190 countries, which is alarming.Iftikhar Ali Malik, who is also chairman UBG, the largest alliance of chambers in the country, said that Daroo Khan Achakzai, President FPCCI, in principle agreed to lend helping hand to the government in this regard.He  also emphasized to create awareness about converting the black money into white money, to increase the confidence of tax payer, incentives for the SMEs, exports warehouses, agriculture sector, and removal of piracy, mis-declaration and smuggling.