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Pakistan: New Taxes to Be Introduced in Budget
Source: brecorder.com
Source Date: Sunday, April 04, 2010
Country: Pakistan
Created: Apr 06, 2010

New taxes will be imposed in the federal budget for 2010-11. This was sated by Federal Secretary, Commerce, Zafar Mahmood before the business community here on Saturday.

Addressing a meeting of research and development subcommittee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said that in the recently announced National Finance Commission (NFC) award, major share has been give to provinces while the federal government has been left with a meagre share, which compelled the government to impose new taxes in the coming budget to generate revenue for federal the government.

Zafar said that if the government failed to increase taxes, its survival would be at stake. The Secretary said that tax-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan is lowest in the world, and it has to be increased substantially. He said that efforts were underway not to further burdened the present tax payers and emphases is on to tap new avenues for taxes.

To give a picture of tax payers, he pointed out that Sector E-7 is a posh locality of Islamabad, where only 10 percent people have National Tax Number (NTN). People can well judge what the position of the business community is in tax payment, he added.

Referring to Free Trade Agreements (FTA), he said that a team of exporters would be created to analyse FTAs signed with China, Lanka and Malaysian and to give a detailed picture of its benefits and disadvantages for Pakistan. He said that the team would also prepare future drafts of FTA with various countries.

He said that negotiations are in progress with European Union (EU) on market access. In this connection Pakistan is demanding unilateral concessions. Next meeting is scheduled in the next few weeks, he added. Regarding Afghan Transit Trade (ATT), he said that next meeting is scheduled to be held in Afghanistan in next month.

He said that until now 5 meetings were held on ATT and representatives of business community participated in the meetings. On business community concerns over smuggling under ATT, Zafar assured that all concerns would be take care of in the forthcoming meeting.

Regarding research and development, the federal secretary advised the business community to prepare project of research and development, and assured that finance for the projects would be provided from Export Development Fund. He said that the government has allowed 6 percent for research and development (RD) projects and added that none of the businessmen had used it for research and development projects. They used it as subsidy, he added.
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