Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges government to bring all untaxed sectors into tax net

Lahore, November 24, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to bring all untaxed sectors into the tax net instead of twisting the arm of existing tax payers who are already under immense pressure due to various internal and external challenges.

The demand was raised by the LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad while talking to a delegation of traders here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

The LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that the agriculture sector, with a share of 21 per cent in GDP, contributes hardly around 6 per cent towards tax revenue.

He said that the business community would not tolerate any tax-related policy that would be implemented without the due consultation of the stakeholders.

“Laws must be made for the trade and industry and not at their expense.” The LCCI President said that all over the world there is a phenomenon that income is to be taxed whether it is driving from industry, imports, exports agriculture, trading or services but here it is vice versa and restricted to sector-specific and already taxed traders only.

While quoting the example of withholding tax on banking transactions, Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that business community is not ready to accept this unrealistic and unjustified tax. He said that government and Federal Board of Revenue should avoid taking such measures without due consultation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the country for being the main stakeholders.

The LCCI President informed the delegation that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken up the issue of withholding tax on banking transactions with the government and would continue struggle till amicable solution of this issue.

He said that the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio has been on a decline since the past few years and it registered an extremely low figure. The gap between revenue and expenditure in the last four years has gravely thwarted the financial goals of the government, including giving an impetus to economic growth, reducing poverty, improving vital public services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

The increasing gap between revenue and expenditure, trade and current account deficits and reliance on external resources have created an unsustainable fiscal situation. These factors have exposed the economy to additional risks of price-hike, high fiscal deficit and cost of debt servicing.

To address these issues, the government would have to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio by overhauling the tax system and making the system justifiable and equitable.

LAHORE November 24 – The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appealed to the Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the date for the filing of income tax returns.

In a press statement issued here Tuesday, the LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that the date should be extended by one month so that business community could easily submit their returns. He said that business community would not be able to file their returns due to local body elections, issue of withholding tax on banking transactions and fault in IRIS system of FBR.

He said that an extension in the date of filing of returns would not only facilitate the business community but it would also send a very positive signal about private-public sector liaison.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk