ISLAMABAD: A meeting of major political parties was organised by the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Oxfam. On the occasion, representatives of major political parties discussed proposals for tax reforms.
In April 2014, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) witnessed a shortfall of Rs29 billion as an amount of Rs167bn was collected against a target of Rs196.4bn.
The government has constituted a Tax Reform Commission but opposition parties are not optimistic about much improvement. The current tax system provides relief to the rich, National Party President Mir Hasil Bizenjo said and called for restoring the trust of the people in the taxation system.
JUI-F leader Asia Nasir called for adopting the tax model of Scandinavian countries where no one is exempted from paying taxes. Senator Haji Adeel of Awami National Party called for a uniform taxation system. MQM’s Rasheed Godel said that the state had failed to provide quality education, health and jobs to people because of low collection of taxes and less spending on the PSDP. “If we want to take major decisions, we should increase our tax-to-GDP ratio.”