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National

September 18, 2010

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‘Tax system based on corruption’

LAHORE
The tax system in Pakistan is based on corruption and tax money is being spent on white elephants of public sector i.e. the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
The government should establish a new tax system with the consultation of the Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Pakistan, in order to end the corruption and proper utilization of tax money for public welfare.
These views were expressed by the leaders of PIAF-Founder Alliance and contesting candidates for the forthcoming election of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at the Jang Forum here on Friday.
The participants of the discussion said that they were not politicians but could not keep themselves from national politics. They said that democratic government must be given a chance to complete its tenure. Peace and political stability was crucial to the successful and fruitful industrialization in the country.
The vice-president of SAARC Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Iftikhar Ali, said that the traders and industrialist paid taxes while the government did not use it for the public welfare. He said that the government must assure the business community before imposing any tax related to the flood relief. The community must also be assured that the tax would be imposed only once, he said, and the money should be spent only for the betterment of the flood affected areas.
The past experience tells that such temporary taxes are turned into regular taxes afterwards, he said, adding that the East Pakistan Flood tax was being still collected. He said that LCCI, an apex chamber, had been operational since 1923. It was the need of hour to improve the research wing of the chamber according to present requirement. He said Pakistan must review its foreign policy in order to have friendly relations with neighboring countries. The PIAF chairman, speaking on the occasion, said that the business community was hopeful that the new

governor the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would lower down the interest rate and take implantable steps to control inflation. He said that inflation rate had crossed 29.9 per cent, hoping that the SBP government would take the Chamber of Commerce and industry on board to control the inflation. He said that the government must privatize loss producing public sector organizations. He said that the business community had initiated many steps in flood relief activities. It would also own some villages to reconstruct infrastructure and basic facilities. He said that the LCCI would continue its support to the government and give suggestions. Given the government provided them basic facilities, they would change the fate of the country, he said.
Former vice-president of LCCI, Sohail Lashari, said that the basic purpose of PIAF-Founder Alliance was to provide a single platform to the business community in order to resolve their problems. He said the LCCI had given Vision 2030 to the government and now it was the governmentís responsibility to implement it.
He said that all tax and custom structure of country was based on corruption. He said that the business community wanted to pay tax and the government must evolve a new tax system with consultation of business community. He said that the chambers of commerce industry must be taken on board on the utilization of tax money.
Shahzab Akram said that smuggling had destroyed Pakistanís economy, bringing it at verge of collapse. He said open sale of smuggled items were a proof of the government failure to curb the menace. He said that the governmentís ad-hoc policies were the cause of failure in every sector.

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