Muffasar Malik for pro-business environment, reduction in tax rates

Karachi, November 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): Acting President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Muffasar A. Malik has stressed the need for ensuring pro-business environment in Pakistan in order to stop the outflow of local investment, attract new foreign investment and trigger the tangible economic activities across the country.

Exchanging views with a 14-member delegation of officers from National Management College Lahore who were on a visit to KCCI on Monday, Muffasar Malik suggested that in order to enhance Pakistan’s revenue, the decision makers, instead of overburdening the existing taxpayers, must reduce the exorbitant tax rates and devise a clear strategy for effectively dealing with non-taxpayers by offering them nominal tax rate. The delegation, which was led by Dr. Naila Zafar, Faculty Member Incharge, National Management College Lahore, visited KCCI as part of their study tour.

“We only resist higher rate of taxation on existing taxpayers as it will never help in achieving the desired objective but the revenue targets can certainly be achieved when maximum number of people are taken into the tax net by asking them to pay nominal tax which can later on be raised gradually”, he suggested.

Muffasar Malik, while responding to various queries raised by the officers, identified three major challenges including law and order situation, energy crisis and corruption being faced by Pakistan. “Out of these three challenges, the worst one is corruption which if addressed will help in resolving many issues being faced by Pakistan”, he added.

Urging the officers to dedicatedly discharge their services and work tirelessly for a prosperous Pakistan, Muffasar Malik said that Pakistan is capable of overcoming the ongoing crisis as the country is generating sufficient revenue but due to the menace of corruption in bureaucracy and massive debt burden, Pakistan is unable to come out of crisis. “Everyone is waiting for good officers to take over bureaucracy and we all must work together to pull the country out of crisis”, he said.

“If leakages in taxation system and misappropriation are effectively tackled, the government will certainly be able to save around 30 to 40 percent revenue”, he opined.

To a question regarding law and order situation in Karachi, Acting President KCCI said that some improvement as a result of the Karachi Operation undertaken by Pakistan Rangers Sindh in association with Police Department has been witnessed.

Some decline has been witnessed in the incidents of target killings, however some wanted criminals of Bhatta mafia have vanished from the city but other new players have emerged in Bhatta mafia and the overall situation remains a challenge.

“It seems that doing business in Karachi city under the prevailing circumstances has become almost impossible as business people find it almost difficult to fearlessly carry on their businesses yet somehow they are running their manufacturing units, which is not less than a Jihad.”

Referring to low foreign direct investment in Pakistan and flight of capital, Muffasar Malik advised that it was better to look ahead rather than what happened in the past. The government must focus on creating an enabling environment for local investors so that they could stop shifting their businesses abroad. “It is the government’s responsibility to provide a safe and conducive environment and then it will be our responsibility to generate maximum revenue for the government”, he added.

Replying to a question regarding exports, he said that Pakistan exports are likely to witness a boost in the next few months on implementation of GSP Plus scheme and the textile sector is expected to be the major beneficiary of this scheme. He advised that the government should focus on improving facilities at existing projects in order to take full advantage of GSP Plus Scheme instead of announcing new projects.

Commenting on Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India, he said that it was being feared by many business people that once India gets MFN status, the Indian products will overshadow Pakistani products as Indian Industry is more developed as compared to Pakistan. “I firmly believe it will provide an opportunity to Pakistani industries to develop their industries at par with Indian industries which will trigger competition between industries of both countries and it will go in favor of Pakistan”, he added.

He informed the officers that Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry is undoubtedly the leading voice of local business community with more than 19,000 direct members whereas the number of indirect members from seven KCCI affiliated trade bodies is beyond 50,000. “Karachi Chamber not only listens and tries to resolve the grievances being faced by its members but anyone who approaches KCCI is provided assistance”, he added.

The Karachi Chamber, besides having understandings with Law Enforcing agencies and various utility service providers, enjoys cordial relations and maintains excellent coordination with all consulates and embassies of various countries in Karachi and Islamabad, he added. The meeting ended with renewed pledges from both sides to enhance image of Pakistan and work collectively to further Pakistani exports in traditional and non-traditional markets.

For more information, contact:
M. Shafiq Baig
Public Relations Officer
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road,
Shahrah-e-Liaquat, Karachi-74000
Tel: +9221 9921 8001 -09
Fax: +9221 9921 8010

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