ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday said widening the tax base and increasing tax-to-GDP ratio by raising the level of collection is imperative for sustainable development in the country.
He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) here at the PM House this afternoon.
Chairman FBR Ali Arshad Hakeem informed the meeting that tax collection had doubled since 2008 from Rs 1 trillion to Rs 2 trillion this year.
He said also there was recorded an increase of 22 per cent in the tax revenues this year as compared to the last year.
He said that an increase of 22 per cent in tax revenues was recorded this year compared to the previous year.
The meeting was informed that there were 805,000 registered tax payers of which 260,000 people paid taxes consecutively for three years.
The prime minister said the self-respect of the tax payers should be protected and a taxation structure aimed at enhancing revenues be streamlined in a manner where a culture of voluntary tax payment is promoted.
The prime minister said that a large segment of Pakistan’s economy was informal, depriving the national exchequer of its due share and acting as a hindrance for economic planning and development. The menace of capital flight to tax havens has deprived the country of its true potential for development and progress, he added.
PM Ashraf said that the demand for cars, luxury goods and housing reflected the availability of wealth in the country.
Unfortunately tax base is not commensurate to this phenomenon, he regretted.
The prime minister urged the FBR to plug leakage of taxes and bring elite groups of the society into the tax net.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Syed Minister for Defence Naveed Qamar, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Minister for Law Farooq H. Naek, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem ul Haq and senior officials.