Published Date: Mar 23, 2017
Sindh to get more resources in Federal budget 2017-18
Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair has said that 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 said that 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.
He said this while speaking at high level pre-budget consultative meeting held by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday. Governor Sindh 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.
Muhammad 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 SDPI, especially of inviting mainstream political parties for 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 that include motor vehicle tax. This will improve resource availability with district governments and make them more empowered to spend on the poor, he concluded. Mushtaq Kazmi, Advisor, Sindh Revenue Board was of view that the withholding tax regime in Pakistan was simply like indirect taxation and hurts poor. He said that we should gradually start phasing out regressive withholding taxes in Pakistan. Moreover, he said, effective coordination between federal and provincial revenue authorizes should be established.
Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI earlier said that the business community as key stakeholder of economic reform should always try to be part of the solution. He informed Governor Sindh and the participants that currently there was a communication gap between federal and provincial revenue authorities and hence, businesses are facing difficulties. He suggested that the provincial revenue authorities should develop internal capacities for analysis of data and information from audit, monitoring and evaluation exercises.
Moreover, he said, the policy think tanks should also be part of this Committee so that the voices of business community, consumers and society at large could be presented in a comprehensive manner to the committee members.