Lahore : Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday assuring business community of government’s commitment towards reforming the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), urged them to play their role as his team in promoting tax-culture in the country,
and pulling it out of poverty through enhanced tax collection.“No country in the world can progress and move ahead without taxes. The nations which do not pay taxes cannot remain independent and sovereign”, he told traders, businessmen and entrepreneurs gathered at the 11th All Pakistan Chambers Presidents
Conference, organized by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here at a hotel.
The Prime Minister referred to the quotes of a book
“Confessions of an Economic Hitman” he received from Malaysian leader Mahathir Muhammad some 20 years back, in which it was stated that the objective of loans given by powerful countries to the poor nations was to make them their subservient.
He said it was unfortunate that in a country like Pakistan only 72,000 people declared over Rs 200,000 as their monthly incomes.
The Prime Minister mentioned the poor state of country’s economic affairs which his government inherited and said that a huge amount Rs 2000 billion out of the total annual revenue collection of
around Rs 4500 billion was paid only for debt servicing of Pakistani loans, which jumped from Rs 6 trillion to Rs 30 trillion during the last ten years alone.
He assured the traders that his government was committed and working on the reforms of FBR to boost tax collection by promoting the tax culture, and rationalizing and broadening the tax net, adding, the
government would not even hesitate to create another FBR, if the present one failed in reforms.
The Prime Minister said the businessmen would have to play their role in pulling the people out of poverty and lifting the lower segments by giving employment to youth and through wealth creation. He said that
civilized societies like the Scandinavian countries had adopted the progressive tax system, introduced by the State of Madina, and providing health, education and legal aid to the poor by taxing the rich.
The Prime Minister said though the country was passing through hard times, but after pledges of heavy investments from various countries, he was confident that the government would overcome the
challenge of Current Account Deficit.
He, however, maintained that as far as the issue of fiscal deficit was concerned it could be tackled only through enhanced tax collection. The Prime Minister said that since Pakistan was bestowed with plenty of natural resources and beautiful lands, the potential of
tourism alone, if properly exploited, could check the current account deficit. Assuring the businessmen of addressing their grievances about FBR, the Prime Minister urged the entrepreneurs to help the government in promoting tax culture and in its drive against corruption and paying taxes.
President of RCCI Malik Shahid Saleem and former President of RCCI Sohail Alaf in their remarks on the occasion lauded the leadership and vision of
Prime Minister Imran Khan in taking the country forward in every field of life.