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KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has presented important proposals for the federal budget 2022-23 to address economic challenges, boost the national economy and grow the capital markets.

Implementation of the proposals will help to document the economy and increase tax revenues, while also helping to meet important social objectives, PSX said.

These proposals have been submitted to the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, the Chairman, SECP, and the Chairman, FBR, for their consideration.

They said no modern economy can grow efficiently without a large and well-functioning capital market. The proposals have been prepared keeping in mind the current economic challenges faced by the country.

The stock market is one of the most documented sectors of the economy. In line with FBR’s efforts to increase tax base in Pakistan, the stock market and its stakeholders, investors and issuers, are all well documented and comply with the relevant tax laws. However, it is imperative that there is an efficient, equitable and broad-based tax system to enhance and augment corporatisation and the capital markets.

PSX has presented budgetary proposals that focus on impediments and disincentives that have created obstacles for the development of the capital market, the documented corporate sector and the overall economy.

The implementation of these proposals will help increase tax revenue, encourage investment and saving, and contribute to economic growth.

PSX submitted 11 budgetary proposals for 2022-23 affecting the capital markets. Some of the key proposals presented are:

Align rates of capital gains tax on disposal of securities with other regional exchanges and OECD countries and with the rates of CGT on sale of immovable property.

Introduction of Registered Savings and Investment Accounts (RSIA) and Individual Savings Account (ISA).

To grandfather tax treatment of companies when they apply for listing.

Rationalisation of tax rates for companies listed on stock exchange.

Elimination of minimum tax regime from listed companies.

Levelling tax for corporates.

Provincial sales tax on services –jurisdiction issues to be settled in Council of Common Interest.

The budgetary proposals seeking to benefit the economy through growth of the capital market include alignment of CGT on disposal of securities with that of other regional exchanges and sale of immovable property in order to essentially eliminate the tax driven distortion between different asset classes, introduction of RSIAs & ISAs to help channel savings towards productive investments, no new cases for past tax returns be opened to facilitate tax status at the time of a company’s listing application in order to encourage companies to list, rationalisation of tax rates for listed companies through reinstatement of the repealed section 65C of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, amended to allow tax credit to certain companies meeting the prescribed requirements of free float, levelling tax for corporates to remove inequality of taxation of businesses and restoration of exemption on inter-corporate dividend between companies eligible for group taxation, among other significant proposals.

Speaking about the budgetary proposals presented to the Ministry of Finance and key relevant government functionaries, the MD PSX, Farrukh H. Khan said no modern economy can grow and improve the savings and investment rates without large and well-functioning capital markets. In Pakistan, the stock market is the most documented sector of the economy but is still discriminated against. There are serious tax and AML distortions between asset classes that must be rationalised as they are detrimental to efficient resource allocation.

As capital markets grow, the economy will get documented and tax revenue will increase. All the budget recommendations of PSX are revenue positive.

“We do not ask for subsidies; only a level playing field.”

The MD PSX added, “As a frontline regulator, PSX is keen to see that necessary reforms are implemented in the taxation system so that all asset classes have the same tax treatment. This will facilitate efficient resource allocation, documentation of the economy, increased tax revenue and growth of the capital market, thereby creating a solid foundation for a thriving and flourishing economy.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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