Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said Friday that mobilization of local resources was imperative to ensure macroeconomic stability, sustainable growth and development of the country.
Speaking at the inaugural session of summer camp organized by Pakistan Tax Bar Association and Lahore Tax Bar Association, the minister said that revenues played a pivotal role in strengthening economy of any country.
Underlining the importance of reforms, the minister said that country’s tax-base could be expanded by introducing comprehensive reforms in the revenue system. She was of the view that close coordination among federal and provincial governments was necessary in this regard.
The minister lauded the determination exhibited by bar associations for playing their best role in bringing about tax reforms in the country, adding that suggestions from these association could play a productive role in devising a comprehensive tax policy.
The minister said that improving tax policy was necessary to facilitate taxpayers and highlighted the importance of removing discriminations, particularly the discriminatory SROs through new policy initiatives.
She also highlighted the importance of bridging gaps between taxpayers and tax collectors, saying that both these stakeholders have been seen complaining against each other.
The minister was of the view that both these stakeholders could build up their relationship on principle of partnership, which would help promote positive tax culture in the country and enhance revenue collections.
The minister also underlined the importance of bringing transparency in the tax system to build trust of taxpayers on the tax collection system. In this regard, she specially mentioned the publication of tax directory and mechanism of preparing audit reports.
The minister also underlined the need for giving different treatment when dealing with filers and non-filers to promote tax culture in the country.
The minister said that being the signatory of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) convention, Pakistan would have now access to the information of Pakistanis having assets and money abroad.
She was of the view that the country had much potential compared to the existing collection of revenues, which needed to be tapped for progress and prosperity of the country.
The function was also addressed by Federal Tax Ombudsman, Mushtaq Sukhera, President Pakistan Bar Association, Abdul Qadir Memon and President Lahore Tax Bar Association.
On the occasion, the presidents of both the bar associations apprised the audience about the purpose of summer camp.
They said that different issues related to tax culture would be discussed during the summer camp and proposals would be formulated on overall tax system which would be forwarded to the government.