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The News International

Published Date: Apr 8, 2021

Experts advocate sales tax collection by provinces

KARACHI: Experts on Wednesday tied improved revenues to tax reforms and more fiscal powers to provinces and termed sales tax collection by the federating units critical to an efficient tax regime.

Views to this effect were expressed by economists during a virtual dialogue to discuss pre-budget proposals and better business regulations. The talk was jointly held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Sukkur, a statement said.

Speaking to the participants, former finance minister Sindh, Asad Ali Shah, emphasised on the need to reexamine the entire government tax structure.

Shah said we should focus on digital solutions for transparency of budget making.

“Besides, Pakistan needs to push for skill development, education, and health sector particularly human capital.”

The government should create an environment for ease of business with reducing cost of business, Shah said adding that “we need to invest in indigenous skill development at provincial level”. Member Sindh Revenue Board, Mushtaq Kazmi, informed the participants that most of the business enterprises need to file five taxes which was quite a hassle. “Thus, Sindh Revenue Board and others revenue agencies are signing MoU with FBR to have central portal for a single return for easing of business.” Kazmi said National Tax Council would be advised to reduce the tax rate. Sales tax in term of collection should be with the provinces, he added.

Professor of economics, IBA Sukkur, Dr Waqar Akram, said, “It’s time to think out of the box for ease of business”. Business regulations are important to ease the procedures of doing business with small capital. The key to success lies in Research & Development and educational institutes could play an important role in market development and strong policy formulation, he added.