Mubarak Zeb Khan
Published Date: Mar 26, 2015
Politicians seek tax reforms
Party President Mir Hasil Bizenjo said the current tax system provides
relief to the rich, and called for restoring the trust of the people in
the taxation system. -Online/File
ISLAMABAD: Major political parties on Wednesday sought effective taxation reforms to bring the rich into the tax net.
were speaking at a meeting, organised by the Islamabad-based
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), with the collaboration
of Oxfam, in which representatives of major political parties discussed
proposals for tax reforms.The government has constituted a Tax Reform
Commission, but opposition parties are not optimistic about much
National Party President Mir Hasil Bizenjo
said the current tax system provides relief to the rich, and called for
restoring the trust of the people in the taxation system. He regretted
that the landlords were not paying taxes while higher indirect taxes
were being collected.
Asia Nasir of JUI (F) stressed the
need for adopting the tax model of Scandinavian countries where no one
is exempted from paying taxes. She said that reform in the taxation
system was the need of the hour and political parties should act
collectively for seeking reforms and for simplifying the system.
Haji Adeel of Awami National Party called for a uniform taxation
system. Everyone who earns must pay tax irrespective of his field and
rank, he said while pointing towards purchases made by the elite from
certain stores which are exempted from taxes. About property tax, he
said, civilians pay taxes, but forces people don’t pay. While taxes are
deducted from the salaries of government and private sector employees,
nobody monitors the income of doctors and artistes.
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.”
Sarfaraz Ahmed of
Jamat-i-Islami said that the taxation system was inefficient by design.
Value-added tax (VAT) was being implemented in the name of GST, he
He said that direct taxation was not possible
because of slow pace of documentation. “Until and unless, we increase
direct taxes, revenues can’t be increased,” he said.
Three parliamentarians of the ruling PML-N tried to justify government’s efforts to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio.
legislator Arifa Khalid sought tax exemption for women entrepreneurs
while Malik Uzair Khan said that his government was trying to eliminate
SRO culture, and making efforts to increase direct taxes.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri and Dr Vaqar Ahmad of the SDPI made presentations on the current tax system and how it can be improved.