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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Mar 23, 2017

Province to get more resources in federal budget 2017-18, says Sindh governor

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair has said that to address security and energy concerns were imperative to enhance private investment in the country. The same applied on Sindh and particularly Karachi and that should be entailing a massive economic reform at the provincial level.

He expressed the views while speaking during a pre-budget consultative meeting held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at the Governor House in Karachi on Wednesday.

He said, “We have a large educated middle class, a private sector ready to play its role in enhancing economic activities and hence, this offers a huge opportunity for a real economic turnaround in the province”.

The Sindh governor, on the occasion, ensured the participants that Sindh would receive more resources from the forthcoming federal government. He said that the members of Tax Reform Commission (TRC) should impress upon the federal government to implement its recommendations in order to ensure timely tax reforms.

Zubair said that the outreach efforts to promote a good and trustworthy ‘tax culture’ in Pakistan need to be enhanced. He appreciated the role of the SDPI, especially of inviting mainstream political parties for the presentation of shadow budgets and pre-budget proposals.

Dr Farooq Sattar, head of Muthida Quami Movement (MQM), while expressing his views said that tax authorities should act in a business friendly manner whereas transfer of resources should be ensured to district level from the provinces. He said that the provincial finance commissions were dormant and need to be more proactive.

He suggested that several taxes and their administration need to be devolved to the districts, including motor vehicle tax, to improve resource availability with the district governments and make them more empowered to spend on the poor.

SDPI Deputy Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed, on the occasion, presented technical details on the desired tax reforms for the province.

He suggested that this year’s provincial budget should be used as an opportunity to reduce the compliance costs of taxpayers in Sindh. He said that this can be done through effective implementation and follow-up of Sindh Tax Revenue Mobilisation Plan and consolidate the taxes which generate minuscule revenues while merging provincial revenue authorities.

The consultative meeting was also attended by prominent experts from different sectors of the economy including Engineer MA Jabbar, member Shoaib Siddiqui, Excise and Taxation Department Director General Afshan Subohi, Dr Kaiser Bengali, Naheed Memon and Abdul Aleem.