President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said the business community is worried over a continued shortfall in tax collections.
The revised tax target could not be achieved during the first six months of the current fiscal resulting in a shortfall of Rs287 billion due to slowdown in economic activities and unnecessary import compression, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that imports have been reduced by six billion dollars which has inflicted a loss of 330 billion rupees in revenue, while the agriculture wholesale and retail sectors having a combined share of 36 percent in the GDP remain out of the tax net which is dragging the country down.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that full-year shortfall is expected to be Rs1000 billion which can be compensated by increasing tax rates, energy tariff or a mini-budget which has unnerved the business community.
The former minister noted that FBR has collected additional Rs209 billion during the first five months in which energy tariff and indirect taxes have played a major role in sparing rich and hitting the marginalized sections of society.
He said that the policy of burdening poor to enhance revenue collection is damaging for the country and society and we need a progressive tax system focusing on direct taxation to resolve the pressing issues faced by the country.
Focus on direct taxation can reduce poverty while trading and farming communities should be brought into the tax net to give a break to the poor who are overburdened by taxes and reeling under high inflation.