KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Muffasar Atta Malik, while appreciating FBR’s recent move to extend the Amnesty Scheme for a period of one month, said, “This was widely being demanded by the Business and Industrial community and we are grateful to the decision makers for paying heed to KCCI’s request and accordingly taking sensible decision which is encouraging many individuals to benefit from both the schemes and become part of the tax net, besides assisting the government in raising the revenue,” says a Press release.
In a statement issued here Wednesday, President KCCI pointed out that as per figures appearing in numerous media reports, more than Rs100 billion were added to the national exchequer by June 30, 2018 and this figure was expected to rise further keeping in view the massive interest being shown in both schemes. “Some ambiguities were created during the course however, the Karachi Chamber promptly urged the authorities to come up with clarities which was wisely done that resulted in attracting the interest of thousands of Pakistanis living in and outside Pakistan”, he added. He was fairly optimistic that the schemes will help government in bringing undocumented persons, assets and income into the documented sector. The schemes have the potential to bring in macroeconomic and fiscal stability in the economy. Muffasar Malik stated that these schemes offer a lucrative opportunity to legalize undeclared assets by paying a nominal tax amount which is particularly beneficial in case of Pakistan where volatile policies, changing regimes and political uncertainties have created many gaps. “Since amnesty schemes tend to generate tax revenue for the national exchequer without adding any burden on the existing tax payers, it creates a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.
It also reduces the need of taking more debt to fund the budget deficit which is also an indirect burden on the genuine tax payers as their money is utilized on debt servicing more rather than on their welfare and development spending”, he added. Meanwhile, Muffasar Malik also advised the government to formulate practical policies to increase the tax net and catch tax evaders in order to strengthen the country’s economy.
The loyal taxpayers are being overburdened every year to achieve the revenue targets where those outside the tax net continue to enjoy all the luxuries of life without contributing a single rupee to the national exchequer, he opined, adding that FBR has been claiming of having details of all such tax evaders since many years but unfortunately no action has been taken so far to strictly deal with them. He suggested that the existing bracket of 30 to 35 percent tax rate has to be brought down to 10 percent, which, if done, would cause a taxpayers windfall and help in documenting the economy.