Speakers propose flat taxation
experts called for simplifying taxation systems and increasing revenues by lowering the tax rate. Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME) held a seminar the other day titled “Towards flat taxation, the new paradigm”, unveiling a breakthrough Study aimed to increase tax revenues by lowering the tax rate, and simplifying the tax code. The study is coauthored by Huzaima Bukhari and Dr. Ikramulhaq. Huzaima Bukhari claimed that by simply lowering taxes and eliminating the complexities within the system, national internal revenues could be raised to Rs. 5 trillion annually.
Her proposals included a 10 percent tax on individuals, 20 percent on businesses, 5 percent single stage sales tax, and a 5 percent single slab customs duty. Her co-author Dr Ikram said that Pakistanis are a heavily taxed as a nation, paying an 39 percent on services, and a 14 percent adjustable income tax de- ducted at source. He revealed that 89 percent of the entire sales tax is collected through one hundred companies. President, Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (ICMA) Pakistan Kashif Mateen endorsed the proposals on the grounds of justice.
He said that complexities in the system create opportunity for corruption, and discouraged individuals from compliance. He said that the FBR imposes about 60 different withholding taxes. Dr Shumail Daud, former president Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) put his weight behind the proposals, stating that flat taxes are common sense. He was positive that a simplified tax system would help raise revenues, broaden the tax base and encourage voluntary compliance. Ali Salman, Director of PRIME, lauded the authors for their detailed work, stating that it would lay the foundations for a long over due, and much needed discussion on Taxpayer rights, and fiscally responsible governance.—APP
KARACHI: Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce Siraj Muhammad Khan presiding over a meeting with the officials of Trading Corporation of Pakistan.