LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa has said that seventy percent of the government expenditures are being handled with taxes collected by the Centre and provinces, while the rest of 30 percent are covered by borrowing, which indicates structural error in the system.
Addressing a pre-budget seminar arranged by the Lahore Tax Bar Association at a local HOTEL INLahore, he pointed out that the country was spending one third of the budget on debt servicing, adding that even the defence budget was less than debt servicing.
“If this practice continues, the borrowing share will increase over the time, which will be a big challenge for tax collectors and tax practitioners,” he added.
He urged the tax practitioners to assist the FBR in increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio by guiding the taxpayers to pay their taxes and avoid undue advocacy.
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Ijaz A Mumtaz while sharing his views said that billions of rupees of sales tax (ST) refund with the government was shrinking the working capital, while the sales tax registration procedures were cumbersome. He also demanded that the sales tax on electricity and Sui gas bills of pharmaceutical sector must be removed.
He suggested that the government should bring reforms in the tax and energy sectors, while tax procedures and rules should be made simple.
He further added that a harmonised policy and its smooth long-term implementation together with easy tax procedure would encourage the investors, which would result in increased share of national exchequer.
Lahore Tax Bar Association President Aysha Qazi said that the FBR should consult tax practitioners before going into the budget-making process.
She emphasised that sales tax registration process should be made easier for the taxpayers. She said tha the revenue board should also undertake structural changes in tax revenue collection to overcome the issues of the economy on a long-term basis.
She also highlighted the improper attitude of tax collectors towards the taxpayers.
A large number of lawyers and other officials, including FBR Senior Member Shahid Hussain Asad, LTU Chief Commissioner Chaudhry Safdar, LBTA’s Zaheer Ahmad Meer, Ehsanur Rehman Sheikh, Ch Muhammad Saeed, ICAP’s Naeem Sheikh, ACCA’s Syed Mansoor Ali Zaidi, ICMA-Pakistan’s Saeed Sheikh, LBTA VP Numan Yahyah, Zafar Iqbal and ACCA’s owner Zaheer Meer, were present on the occasion.
The FBR chairman awarded shields to the panellists, participants and others at the end of the seminar.