Islamabad ( ) Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that the 17 percent General Sales Tax (GST) in Pakistan was quite high as compared to many other countries, which was a major cause of high inflation and high cost of doing business. He called upon the government to introduce a single digit GST in Pakistan in the upcoming budget that would bring down the production cost, provide good relief to the common man in prices and facilitate the better growth of business activities. He said this while addressing an Iftar Dinner hosted by renowned businessman Iqbal Butt. Baser Daud former President, Muhammad Naveed Malik former Senior Vice President ICCI, Mustafa Malik, Zeeshan Sadiq, Nadar Khan and others were present at the occasion.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that the sales tax rate was 5 percent in UAE, Oman & Taiwan, 7 percent in Singapore, 8 percent in Iran & Sri Lanka as compared to 17 percent in Pakistan, which should be brought down to less than 10 percent in order to facilitate the growth of trade and industrial activities and reduce inflation for the general public. He said that high tax rates in Pakistan were a major hurdle in promoting tax culture and bringing more people into the tax net as high tax rates always encouraged tax evasion. He stressed that the government should focus on rationalization of taxes to make them affordable for taxpayers that would be helpful in promoting tax compliance and enhancing tax revenue of the country.
ICCI President said that the current tax system was quite complicated and difficult, which was not conducive to promote business activities. He urged that the government should develop a simplified tax system that should facilitate the growth of business and investment activities besides increasing the tax revenue. He said the number of taxes should also be minimized to ease the problems of taxpayers.