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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Jul 5, 2015

Supporting middle class: Call for reducing indirect taxes

ISLAMABAD: Oxfam GB Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence said that to move forward on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), Pakistan needed to tackle the issue of collection of taxes through better policy implementation, said a press release.
At a talk on “SDGs and Vision 2025”, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Oxfam GB, Islamabad here on Friday, she suggested that the government might replace indirect taxes with direct taxes. Lawrence said that indirect taxes hit lower and middle classes the most.
She said that those with higher income were allowed to getaway, without meeting their tax liability, proportional to their income.
Lawrence said that Oxfam was looking forward to pursue three the goals of integrating impact of climate change into all other possible development goals, reducing risks of disaster and, reducing extreme poverty and extreme inequality, which very often, existed side-by-side.
She said that it was important how the government engaged with its own citizens in ensuring that their voices were heard, and led to accountability.
Earlier, the SDPI Executive Director, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri in his talk said that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were thrown as a blanket across the board, and individual needs of the groups were not regarded into the strategy.
“Now, we are talking about three streams, which are, handling climate change, reducing the risk of disasters and containing poverty. They all boil down to bringing resilience to the people,” he said.
Planning Commission of Pakistan Social Sector Member Dr Zafar Naeem said that the similarity between the Vision 2025 and SGDs was not a coincidence.
He admitted that the government was facing some problems in implementation, arguing the devolution was done in haste.
Dr Naeem said that the government could not develop linkages, and some of the value chains were lying vacant.
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