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April 3, 2019

Slapping of additional tax on elites proposed


April 3, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s renowned economist and former minister Dr Hafeez A Pasha made startling disclosure that the elites of the country were enjoying perks and privileges of Rs2000 billion per annum and proposed to slap additional tax on those earning more income over certain maximum ceiling.

“Our estimates suggest that the powerful elites are enjoying different perks amounting to Rs2000 billion per annum in shape of tax concessions, plots and others while social protection programmes obtain just Rs400 billion. The state is in clutches of elite capture and this kind of imbalance exists in our society,” former finance minister Dr Hafeez A Pasha said on the eve of launch of his book titled “Growth and Inequality in Pakistan” organised by SDPI and German foundation FES here on Tuesday.

He said that the number of withholding taxes had gone up to 64pc while there were 23 WHT on account of which the FBR was collecting 97 percent tax so the FBR should abolish all other withholding taxes in the coming budget in order to achieve ease of doing of business in the country. He proposed to slap inheritance tax in order to bring equity in the society. He also proposed capital gains tax on real gains of property and stock market shares.

He said that sales tax exemption was available in cantonment areas and it was causing distortions so such exemptions should be eliminated.

While opposing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, Dr Pasha said that it put Pakistan at disadvantaged position so now the time had come when Islamabad must seek such incentives which Beijing had provided to ASEAN countries.

Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar on the occasion supported the idea of inheritance tax and stated that he would support the idea for restoration of wealth tax.

He said that all those who were earning beyond certain limit they must contribute more into national kitty.

He said that when there was restriction on export of our labour but there was no bar on capital movement at international levels so everything that was in favour of developed world did not get attention.

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