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Multi-pronged tax strategy is in the progress: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

18 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said a multi-pronged tax strategy was in the works which, when implemented, would see an increase in the minimum threshold of taxable income and would also feature a one-time amnesty scheme, Radio Pakistan reported.

Speaking at the Pakistan Economic Forum in Islamabad, Abbasi said several measures were being considered by the incumbent government as part of the proposed tax reforms. “One such measure is to lower tax slabs for individual taxpayers besides increasing the threshold of taxable income and allowing one-time amnesty scheme,” he said.

“Enhancing tax collection is vital to provide incentives and services to the people of the country,” the premier said, adding that tools such as computerized national identity cards and information technology will be used to identify and bring the affluent class into the tax net.

The prime minister admitted that high corporate tax was inhibiting the growth of industries in the country, adding enhancement in tax collection will enable the government to lower the corporate taxes.

He stressed on the need for strengthening local industries, reminding that the PML-N government did give incentives to exporters but still more needed to be done to make the industries competitive.

Abbasi said the country’s exports currently hovered around 20 billion dollars which were not sufficient. “We need to achieve exports above 50 and 60 billion dollars,” he opined.

The prime minister recalled that when the present government assumed power in 2013, the country was confronted with poor law and order situation, energy shortages and economic problems. He said over the last four and a half years, overall law and order situation has improved to a great extent due to the sacrifices rendered by security forces of the country. He said despite political instability and turmoil, the energy crisis has been resolved. “We have rather set the roadmap to meet the future requirements of energy,” he said, adding that losses and circular debt were major sources of concern for the government.

The prime minister said that the sitting government had taken multiple steps to resolve economic issues. He said the government had already announced a package of incentives for the exporters and that it will continue to play the role of a facilitator for the business community.

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