KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain has said the payment of loans and interest has increased much more than the income of the government.
He said the policymakers are desperate to increase the income, but increasing burden on existing taxpayers will cause harm instead of benefit. He said that instead of increasing burden on existing taxpayers, the government should target non-tax paying sectors.
He said that the government is increasing its expenditure instead of reducing it, and the burden is being shifted to the business community and people who are already worried and cornered.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the business community is anxious and disturbed by reports of the imposition of various taxes in the upcoming budget. The business community should be taken into confidence instead of being kept in the dark.
He noted that the PTI government and former finance minister Miftah Ismail had tried to target the non-taxpaying sectors, but now it seems that the policy will be abandoned, and the current taxpayers will be squeezed which will not increase tax revenue.
More taxes will decrease revenue because many businesses will close, and many of those that remain functional will start evading taxes.
He said that advance taxation of any company's future income is puzzling because who will be taxed in the future. Such measures will make taxpayers weaker and tax defaulters more stable, which will make tax collection from them more difficult, so these steps should be carefully considered.
He said that such measures will reduce the size of the document economy while increasing the size of the undocumented economy, which is already much larger than required. He added that re-imposing a tax on bank transactions would also be a wrong decision, as this experiment had failed in the past and will fail again.
The document economy is also affected due to the ban on imports, but those making payments through hundi are thriving. The economy needs to be taken out of the ICU, not pushed to its deathbed.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023