Trade: (Shrinking tax base to force Govt to seek another IMF loan)

March 19, 2016 Off By Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Chairperson on Quetta Chamber of Commerce Committee for Trade and Commerce Tabassum Anwar on Sunday said wrong strategy resulted in failure of recent tax amnesty scheme which will further shrink the documented economy and expand the thriving black economy.

Economic managers claimed to net one million new taxpayers through this scheme but only few thousand opted for it therefore result remained less than one percent which indicate serious flaws in the strategy, she said in a statement.

She said demand for extending deadlines is nothing but an efforts by some elements to force government to abandon struggle to expand tax net.

She said wrong policies will continue to expand undocumented economy forcing government to carry begging bowl again to meet its growing requirements.

Efforts to curb smuggling, under invoicing hundi, and money laundering remain far from satisfactory, she said, adding that cosmetic measures has transformed country into a beggar state.

She said falling exports and problems in export of manpower coupled with shrinking tax base are issues that should be taken seriously lest country is forced to request another IMG programme with insulting conditions.

She said smuggling continue to increase with the increasing number of anti-smuggling agencies and upward revision in their budgets which is a point of great concern.

Smuggling has resulted in closure of many industries resulting in lost revenue and vanished job opportunities, she noted. She said almost fifty percent market of LPG is in the hand of smugglers which is to bankrupt many local producers soon.

She said smuggling is almost four percent of the GDP of country while it is less than one percent in some neighbouring countries which indicate lack of political will and collusion.

She said under invoicing continue to inflict loss of billions annually which must be tackled, adding that matters should be resolved soon otherwise country will have no option but to seek further loans.