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Prime Minister urges efforts to increase taxes by widening tax base

Islamabad, November 12, 2012 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that widening the tax base and increasing tax to GDP ratio by raising the level of collection is imperative for sustainable development in the country.

This was stated by him while presiding over a meeting of Federal Board of Revenue at the PM’s House this afternoon.

The Chairman, FBR Mr Ali Arshad Hakeem informed the meeting that tax collection has doubled since 2008 from Rs 01 trillion to Rs 2 trillion this year, also there has been an increase of 22% in the tax revenues this year as compared to the last year. The meeting was also informed that there were 805000 registered tax payers of which 260000 people paid taxes consecutively for three years.

The Prime Minister said that the self respect of the tax payers should be protected and a taxation structure aimed at enhancing revenues be streamlined in a manner where a culture of voluntary tax payment is promoted.

The Prime Minister said that a large segment of Pakistan’s economy is informal, depriving the national exchequer of its due share and acting as a hindrance for economic planning and development. The menace of capital flight to tax havens has deprived the country of its true potential for development and progress, he added.

The Prime Minister said that demand for cars, luxury goods and housing reflected the availability of wealth in the country. Unfortunately tax base is not commensurate to this phenomenon, he regretted.

The Prime Minister urged the FBR to plug leakage of taxes and bring elite groups of the society into the tax net.

The meeting was attended by Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Minister for Finance, Syed Naveed Qamar Minister for Defence, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah Minister for Religious Affairs, Mr Farooq H. Naek Minister for Law, Dr Nadeem ul Haq Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and senior officials.

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