Budget 2013-14 without new taxes demanded
LAHORE: No new taxes should be introduced in the next fiscal year in the coming budget but the government should focus to collect existing tax properly so that revenue collection could be improved while non-development expenditures, including the President and Prime Minister Secretariats, tax exemption culture eradicated and equal taxation system to everyone imposed.
These views were expressed by the discussants in Jang Economic Session on ‘What should be new budget by the new government’, here on Wednesday. The panellists were former Chief Economist Pakistan Dr Pervaiz Tahir, FPCCI Regional Chairman Azhar Saeed Butt, Dr Tariq Bucha, Industrialists Tahir Malik and Manzoor Malik while hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq.
Dr Pervaiz Tahir said the people have big hopes with the newly elected government, so new taxes should not be introduced rather to improve collection from existing taxes. For this, the government should appoint trained and educated officials in Federal Board of Revenue and appoint competent people there and give the FBR in the control of Council of Common Interests (CCI), he said. He said tax exemption culture for different sector should be abolished; separate the small and big traders to increase revenue generation under the tune of GST. He said government control mismanagement in energy sector to reduce electricity crisis and provide free energy savers which save 90 percent energy. He said the PML-N has claimed to increase GDP by one percent every year but it will be a big challenge to make it reality on the first year of its tenure. He said Sharifs should identify flaws in taxation system and bring into the public and then remove them. He said limited revenue generation was being spent on repayment of loans and defence expenditures and the government could not serve without resources.
Azhar Saeed Butt said good budget was not possible in the existing situation. He suggested reducing the discretionary powers of government officials in the budget; end tax exemptions, collect wealth tax from those whose annual income was more than Rs 100 million.
Dr Tariq Bucha said the prime minister discretionary budget is Rs 27 billion, while annual expenditures of Prime Minister Secretariat is Rs 2 billion, President Secretariat 1.3 billion, Cabinet division Rs 8 billion, PTV and Pakistan Broadcasting Rs 8 billion, Pakistan Railways Rs 50 million, and Rs 16,000 debt has crippled the annual budget. He said the government increased federal excise duty on cement to Rs 1,000 from Rs 400 per tone rather to further put tax burden on agriculture sector.
Tahir Malik said the business community has hopes with PML-N leadership for concrete measures on economic revival. He said increase in tax revenue generation was crucial for the government to generate resources but the ability of tax officials to collect tax is a big question. He said the government made crucial changes in tax collection procedures in the next budget. Manzoor Malik said the budget making would not be an easy task in current economic situation. He said the government should take steps carefully. He said doing business has become more difficult due to strict behaviour of the FBR officials. The News