ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin on Monday said that the current tax-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate in Pakistan was 9 per cent which was very low and needed to be doubled to 20pc.
Speaking at Kamyab Jawan Convention in Islamabad, he said that raising the tax ratio could improve the country’s growth rate and provide employment opportunities to the youth.
““We will try not to trouble you, but you will also have to keep in mind that there is no way out without paying taxes because we use the resources of this country; taxes are obligatory on all sections, including traders,” he said, adding that no one has the right to use national resources without paying taxes.
The finance advisor, however, said that the government would abolish all but two taxes in next two to three years in order to simplify the country’s tax system.
He said all unnecessary taxes such as withholding and turnover ones would be done away with and only the general sales tax (GST) and consumption tax being mandatory for citizens.
The adviser said that the government is focusing on human resource capital and Small Medium Enterprises ( SMEs), which would be the government’s top priority.
The adviser said the government was working hard on human capital, interest-free loans, skills development courses for young people, agricultural loans, home loans in easy installments and health cards which, according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, are important policy steps for the youth which makes up 60 per cent of the country’s population.
He pointed out that it is the premier’s vision to facilitate youth in every possible way so they can better serve the nation. “The Kamyab Jawan Programme has been launched with the same objective to tap the potential of the youth,” he added.
Tarin said interest-free agriculture and business loans being disbursed under another initiative of the Kamyab Pakistan Programme will uplift the living standards of about four million marginalised families.
“Back in the 1960s, we were counted with economies like China and Japan when we were economically strong,” he said.
“The government wants to bring back Pakistan’s past economic glory when Pakistan was one of the four largest economies in the Asian region,” he concluded.
The tax to gdp ratio can only be increased when the taxes in our country are rationalized.
This is one key area where the government should focus. Rather than burdening the salaried class and Karachi again get taxes from business community operating in Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar.
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