By Our Staff Correspondent
LAHORE: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and United Business Group (UBG) Wednesday unanimously highly welcomed tax-amnesty scheme announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan and termed it a very positive step of the government to bring tax evaders under tax net by exposing their undocumented and undeclared properties and wealth within country and abroad.
FPCCI President Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai and founder chairman Pak-US Business Council and veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik here on Wednesday discussed this amnesty scheme in details in regard of its benefits to economy of the country.
Daroo Khan said new tax amnesty scheme was a right step taken by the government to bring tax evaders under tax net besides enhancing the country’s revenue base. He said increasing tax base and revenue generation was imperative for provision of better economic and social services to people.
He further said Pakistan needed such type of amnesty scheme because people transferred their money abroad due to terrorism and poor law and order situation in the past. “The law and order situation is now fully restored in the country and people can bring their money back by taking full advantage of the new scheme,” he added. He said that all must avail this gold opportunity and whiten their wealth and hidden properties through legal process and contributes towards national economy.
ICCI calls for extending amnesty scheme till December 2019
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that PTI government has announced its first amnesty scheme for whitening of undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets, including foreign assets at nominal tax rates, however, he said that very short period of just 45 days have been given for taking benefit of this scheme, which was quite insufficient.
He stressed that government should extend amnesty scheme at least till December 2019 so that maximum undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets could be declared that would benefit the economy.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that since 1958, successive governments in Pakistan introduced amnesty schemes that could not generate significant amount of tax revenue for the country. The main reason of their failure was that thorough consultations with stakeholders were not held. He said that amnesty scheme launched in 1958 recovered Rs.1.12 billion from undeclared assets followed by Rs.920 million in 1968, Rs.1.5 billion in 1976, Rs.10 billion in 2000, Rs.3.16 billion in 2008 and around Rs.120 billion in 2018.
PFC says amnesty scheme
of PTI is a mega tax offer
Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq Wednesday lauding the amnesty scheme said it was an excellent and attractive ,mega tax offer of PTI government and termed it a major breakthrough that would help expand tax net as collection of revenue had always been remained under pressure due to various reasons.
Welcoming Asset Declaration Scheme announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan Mian Kashif hoped that this would help the government to accelerate economic activities and achieve tax targets by bringing dead assets into the economy and making them functional.
Presiding over a meeting of board of directors here today, PFC chief termed this government’s initiative as mega tax reform and hoped that it would attract more and more people to get registered with the relevant tax collection authorities. He said increasing tax base and revenue generation was imperative for provision of better economic and social services to people. He said once the tax based is broadened to the required levels, the country will get rid of foreign loaning and such amnesty schemes in future, saying the good intention of the present elected Government should not be considered wrongly.
LCCI hails amnesty, urges people to avail opportunity
By Our Special Correspondent
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LHC) has welcomed Tax Amnesty scheme 2019 and urged the business community in particular to avail this opportunity in the larger interest of economy.
The LCCI President Amas Hyder said that it is a rare opportunity for the business community to give legal status to their undeclared assets by paying 4% tax only.
“It is a good step that every Pakistani citizen — except for public office holders and their dependents — could avail this scheme to declare all previously undisclosed assets either abroad or in Pakistan”, the LCCI President said.
He said that the scheme would also facilitate holders of benami (nameless) accounts and properties in declaring their assets before they are confiscated under a new law for benami assets, therefore people must avail this facility.
Almas Hyder said that this amnesty scheme will end the fear of tax authorities, which is currently prevailing in businessmen’s mind and heart. He said that people are very much interested in declaring their hidden assets so they may do business peacefully in future,” he added.
He said that the threat level in the country’s environment would diminish and businesses would grow due to that positive step by the government. “People are now fed up with under-invoicing, mis-declaration of assets and most of them want to come out of this mess.
LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman saigal said that Tax Amnesty Scheme 2019 is a good measure and a giant leap towards promoting documented economy. They said that business community must avail this scheme to get rid of the difficulties that would prevail after conclusion of Tax Amnesty Scheme.
The LCCI office-bearers also lauded the directions of Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi for staying officials away from conducting raids on business premises.
Assets declaration Scheme 2019 will attract people to enter into tax-net: RCCI
RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Malik Shahid Saleem has expressed hope that newly announced Assets declaration Scheme 2019 will not only intimate people to enter into the Tax net but also help Government to document the informal economy.
After meeting with Chairman FBR, Shabbar Zaidi, in Islamabad, RCCI President remarked that Chamber is ready to provide all time assistance and cooperation in organizing awareness session on the Scheme and we will invite FBR Chairman and other representatives from the finance ministry.
President Malik Shahid Saleem said that documentation of economy is vital for economic uplift and asked the government to introduce amendments in laws so that registration of income tax filing can be made hassle free.
The wheel of economy must be back on track as soon as possible. Chambers are not against such amnesty schemes, we, however, always been vocal to make such scheme conditional to invest the capital in the industry.
The lucrative Schemes aimed to help State treasury raising tax revenues, adding beneficiaries in tax base who have not declared their assets previously.
However, at the same time, the beneficiaries must be directed to divert the white capital in industry so that we can have more job opportunities in a longer run, he added.
He appreciated chairman’s maiden directives to the field formation that there would be no bank account attachment unless prior information to the taxpayer and the approval of the FBR chairman is obtained.
He also demanded that more incentives should be given to tax payers and reforms must be introduced in tax regime to help broadening the tax net and increasing the tax payers numbers. =DNA
Junaid Makda welcomes tax amnesty scheme, stresses secrecy, confidentiality
By Our Staff Correspondent
KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Junaid Esmail Makda, while appreciating Prime Minister Imran Khan for accepting KCCI’s proposal to announce Asset Declaration Scheme, welcomed the much awaited tax amnesty scheme which the cabinet approved yesterday while the Ordinance was signed by President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday providing an opportunity for whitening undisclosed expenditures, sales and assets, including foreign assets, at nominal tax rates.
In a statement issued, President KCCI stressed that in order to make the amnesty scheme successful, the government will have to ensure complete secrecy and confidentiality of the declarants’ data at any cost otherwise, they will not be able to achieve the desired results.
He said that this amnesty scheme must not end up like the last one in which the highly classified data of those individuals who availed the previous amnesty scheme was shared with several government agencies including Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the commitment to keep declarants’ info confidential.
Referring to government’s assurance to keep this scheme easy to understand, he hoped that the amnesty scheme has been devised in such a manner that number of queries are kept minimal as it is a well-known fact that individuals will be reluctant to respond to excessive queries seeking details about the source of income and other such questions because of fears of getting into any kind of trouble in future.
“The business community will be more than happy to become part of the documented economy but the government has to support them by protecting them from any kind of harassment from agencies/ institutions”, he added.
He further stated that although the government has provided the opportunity to become part of the scheme until June 30 but this scheme must be extended for a longer period. After seeing the failure of previous amnesty scheme in which harassment by serving notices was widely witnessed, many individuals will be reluctant to declare their assets hence, the government must extend it and also has to take confidence building measures in due course to regain the trust of the masses. “After seeing some success stories of those individuals who avail this year’s amnesty scheme, I am sure many others will also come forward to benefit from the amnesty scheme so it must be made available for a longer period to tap such individuals”, he added.
He was fairly optimistic that the scheme will help the government in bringing undocumented persons, assets and income into the documented sector. The scheme has the potential to bring in macroeconomic and fiscal stability in the economy.
President KCCI further stated that this scheme offers a lucrative opportunity to pay just four percent for legalizing Benami Assets within the country and six percent for assets outside the country while three percent tax for undeclared sales which was a good offer for whitening the black money.
While complimenting Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi for taking pro-business steps, Junaid Makda hoped that he would continue to do so throughout his tenure which would help in restoring the confidence of business community to a great extent and that in turn would lead to economic prosperity for the entire country.
He advised Chairman FBR to formulate practical policies to increase the tax net and catch tax evaders in order to strengthen the country’s economy. The loyal taxpayers are being overburdened every year to achieve the revenue targets whereas those outside the tax net continue to enjoy all the luxuries of life without contributing a single rupee to the national exchequer, he opined, adding that FBR has been claiming of having details of all such tax evaders since many years but unfortunately no action has been taken so far to strictly deal with them.