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PM Imran’s plan for rationalised tax regime lauded by PEW

ISLAMABAD : The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Thursday lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan for initiating radical changes in the tax administration to make it rationalized and progressive.

The decision will provide relief to masses and ensure rapid economic development for which profound changes in the FBR are very important, it said.

FBR can play its role in the national development if honest and hardworking people are appointed as its chairman, member customs, member inland revenue and DGs of customs intelligence and inland revenue intelligence, said Brig. Muhammad Aslam Khan (Retd), Chairman PEW.

He said that senior officials having tainted repute, known for bribery, departmental politics, conspiracies, promoting elite and working for the interests of major industrial groups should be shown the door.

He said that two senior officers enjoy all the powers in the apex tax body, therefore, responsibilities should be shared and an effective system of internal accountability should be introduced.

He noted that the rotten tax system is not only promoting corruption and poverty but it has also emerged as a threat bigger than terrorism, foreign and local loans and international conspiracies against Pakistan as it milks poor to please influential.

FBR has become a cash machine for influential and corporations as around ninety percent revenue is raised through indirect taxes which continue to hurt poor while direct taxation is avoided to promote the rich, he added.

President of PEW Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan is hardly able to generate tax equal to 11 percent of the GDP, European countries collect taxes to around fifty percent of their GDP, while the focus of developed nations is on direct taxation.

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He said that debt to GDP ration has jumped to over 70 percent due to mismanagement of the former governments which is a threat to country’s sovereignty.

Indirect taxes will always benefit corrupt tax officials and the moneyed and it will never allow the country to become self-sufficient, he warned.

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