Saturday, October 2, 2010

Govt urged to impose agriculture tax

ISLAMABAD—The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday welcomed MQM’s stance to oppose proposed Reformed GST, flood tax or any other tax. It said that other political parties and civil society should also resist decision to impose new taxes and it is not suitable in the prevailing economic scenario. Reformed GST will not substantially add to government kitty; it will only hike inflation which is fastest in the continent, and illicit income of tax collecting officials, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. “New taxes aren’t acceptable before imposition of agricultural income tax which the lawmakers are avoiding since decades,” he said.

Masses cannot trust billionaire politicians who evade taxes while asking others to pay for revenue enhancement. Our leaders have been failing to walk their talk despite growing annoyance at home and among international donors, he added.

Dr. Mughal said that the officials who have helped politicians and other wealthy to hide their money are equally responsible but no one is pointing figure towards them.

He said that a former lfinance minister had identified FBR as the most corrupt institution in the country. Therefore, masses are not ready to trust it in any way. The entire tax machinery seems to be beyond repair. Talking to a group of developers including Khalid Mughal and Azam Mairaj, he said that the recent policy rate hike is unfortunate; it suggests that the central bank is not ready to believe government’s ability to support fiscal needs from revenue.

Rate hike proves that there is no change in mindset of the central bank officials despite a change at the top. They are yet to realise that economy is unable to swing against this tide. SBP will continue to hike interest rates in future, he said. He said that new valuation table for urban property introduced by government of Sindh indicates the confusion among the provincial tax officials.—Agencies

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