Expand tax base to lower Fiscal deficit- Asad Farid

  • July 02, 2012
The continuous increase in fiscal deficit will drag our economy towards major downturn which is already in doldrums due to various core issues that need to be addressed by the Government on urgent basis. 
Asad Farid, Acting President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has shown serious concern over the increasing trend in fiscal deficit which stood around 6 percent of GDP. He said that Government should continue its efforts to maintain financial discipline instead of hefty borrowing from State Bank of Pakistan that already went up in FY2011-12.
Government should regulate its public spending and pursue a sound fiscal policy that could also help in reducing current account deficit, ICCI Acting President maintained.
He was of the view that every political party in our present democratic set up should work jointly for improving country’s economic uplift rather than making huge unnecessary expenditures that rendered heavy dents on our fragile economic system.
He said that fiscal deficit could have been lowered by increasing the Government revenue for which effective measures were needed to expand the tax net which could have been done if Government brings all sectors under tax net.
Asad Farid said that the target to reduce the budget deficit to 4 percent is a daydream as steps to make it a reality were deliberately avoided by economic managers. He said that Government should initiate comprehensive fiscal reforms and widen tax base to curtail huge fiscal deficit and borrowing from central bank.
ICCI Acting President said the growing inflation rate and the federal government’s inability to put tabs to it had negatively impacted the national economy and undermined the private sector. The lending institutions, he added, were not able to lend money to the private sector because they could only provide funds to the federal government to help it meet its fiscal requirements.