‘Tax reforms to end economic depression’

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) on Wednesday lauded the efforts of the government to expand the tax net and enhance revenue collection which is essential for national development. The government should include retail, wholesale, and agriculture sector in the tax net while the undocumented economy which is 20 percent of the GDP should be gradually documented, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI. Talking to businesswomen, Farida Rashid said that some sectors are reluctant to pay taxes to discharge national obligation which is resulting in poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in the country. She said that taxation system can only become friendly and balanced when all the sectors realize their responsibility and start paying taxes which is necessary to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure. Farida Rashid noted that loans can never help develop a country and improved economic activity is the only solution to the problems faced by the country. She said that economic contraction triggers poverty and unemployment and lawlessness putting the future of the country at stake. All sectors should pay taxes as increasing taxes on some sectors or targeting masses through indirect taxes are stoking inflation and opposing economic progress. She demanded immediate steps to document the whole economy to bring an end to economic depression and dependence on foreign loans. Some degree of tax evasion is experienced even in developed countries where tax consciousness and tax collection capacity is very high but the evasion is over fifty percent in Pakistan which is alarming and unacceptable.