ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Saturday expressed concern over tussle between the government and business community over withholding tax on bank transaction terming it against the national interests. He said that both parties should not remain stick to their point but show flexibility to resolve the dispute.
WHT in bank transaction is in the larger national interest but it should be acceptable for all the stakeholders, he said, adding that initially FPCCI and all chambers supported the move but later traders turned against it.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that some failed politicians are also fanning dispute in a bid to improve their shrinking vote bank which must be noticed. In a letter written to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the PBIF has suggested that tax should be reduce to 0.2 percent which will jack up revenue by 100 percent under this head.
The limit of taxable transaction should be enhanced from 50 thousand rupees to one hundred thousand rupees to save small businesses from the impact. The traders who want to remain out of tax ambit should be allowed to do so while those wanting to file returns should not be asked about past transactions, the letter said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that paying tax is a national obligation without which country will remain backward and dependent on foreign donors. Pakistanis pay least taxes in the world which has stopped growth, he said, adding that one percent people in Pakistan pay tax while 80 percent Canadians and 4.7 percent Indians pay taxes.
Pakistan’s tax potential is not less than 5000 billion rupees but collectors haven’t collected over 2600 billion in the history of country forcing governments to knock the door of IMF again and again.
He demanded bringing agricultural income in the tax net like all other sectors including corporate, industry, traders and salaried class.