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Published Date: Mar 21, 2017

Dr. Iqbal says investment in improving public sector services is government’s top priority

On the name of philanthropy, certain
elements promoted extremist in society.

ISLAMABAD: The government was open to receive suggestions on how
the tax regime could  facilitate the
philanthropy sector further. However, its focus would be to extend state
provided health, education and other services to all the population as a vacuum
in this regard has provided extremism to creep up in the society previously. Dr.
Muhmmad Iqbal, Member Federal Board of Revenue, said this while speaking at the
pre-budget seminar ‘Federal Budget 2017-18 and Philanthropy Sector’, held by
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

The speakers at the seminar which
was attended by large number of representatives from walks of life including
research and academic institutes, underpinned the need for improved tax regime
and removal of trust deficit between the government and private sector,
especially regarding the efforts in philanthropy sector.   

Dr. Iqbal said that Federal Board
of Revenue (FBR) was already offering a number of incentives to organizations
involved in philanthropic work. However, the priority for the government was to
invest in public sector services as leaving it just on non-state have its own
unwarranted consequences.

“On the name of
philanthropy,  certain organizations
promoted extremism in society in the past”, Dr. Iqbal said and added that thus
a foolproof regulation on the part of government was important for the smooth
running of the sector, he said.  He added
further that unfortunately the privileged classes were not paying their share of
taxes and thus there was not enough money available to invest on
underprivileged of the society. Thus, he said, we need to redress structural
defects of the system.  

Dr. Shaharyar Toru of SDPI
earlier said that some fundamental aspects of philanthropy sector needed to be
revisited.  He said that it would be
critical to analyze the impact do fiscal incentives on philanthropy and how a
favorable fiscal environment could be instrumental in development of a nation’s
nonprofit sector.

Dr. Zafar Qadir, Chairman Social
Action Consortium and Taleem Foundation, on the occasion said that the avenues
for public-private cooperation should be explored to tap the real potential of
the philanthropy sector in Pakistan.  

Maqsood Amjad, Executive Director, Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, presented a
detailed outlook of philanthropy sector in Pakistan. She said that according to
research carried out by the PCP, Pakistani nation give Rs. 240 billion to
various kinds of charities annually. Ayesha Khan, Country Director, Hashoo
Foundation, Pakistan also shared here views with the audience and said that
corporate sector was ready to lend its support and provide its input to
government for removing trust deficit between the government and private
sector. Ends___