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Businessmen Panel hails self-assessment income scheme

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LAHORE: The Businessmen Panel of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has welcomed the government’s self-assessment income Scheme, announcement of ‘no-harassment policy’ from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and withdrawal of notices to the businessmen.

FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel chairman Mian Anjum Nisar appreciated Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin for directing the revenue board to withdraw the notices to the business community and beginning of the self-assessment scheme; wherein, the businessmen would declare income in returns.

Nisar demanded implementation of the scheme at the earliest to facilitate trade and industry.

He also lauded the government’s plan to bring taxable income into the tax net through artificial intelligence, as the country needs tax money and, for this purpose, broadening the tax base is important.

The businessmen stand with the tax authorities to collect data of 15 million people, who were not in the tax net, assisting them to probe such people who concealed their income and are not on the tax net.

Nisar said that artificial intelligence has the potential to incrementally add 16 per cent or around $13 trillion by 2030 to the current global economic output.

Artificial intelligence technologies and applications would boost world GDP by up to 14 per cent over the next decade, as AI is poised to deliver big economic opportunities for those companies and workers who are best positioned.

“The businessmen support the government’s move of using the option of third-party audit and curtailing the role of the FBR further in fixing the declaration in returns, as the decision would give confidence to the businessmen to promote their businesses and play their role in economic growth,” he said.

He suggested taking the business community onboard, while reviewing new policies on trade, investment and other economic issues, including restructuring the FBR.

Nisar also said that the businessmen should be heard and their problems should be resolved. If the trade and industry is not satisfied, the country cannot prosper. In pursuance of the prime minister’s vision and directives for enhanced interaction of the government functionaries with the business community and due consultation on important economic issues for the result-oriented policies, the government high-ups should hold regular meetings with the businessmen to get their inputs on key economic decisions, he suggested.

The business community wants the government to take them along as the major stakeholder and seek recommendations from them. It can debate businessmen recommendations in such a way that the IMF conditions may not breach, as well as their interests are guarded too, because the trade and industry is the real partner and it should feel this partnership with the government.

“We hope that [the] self-assessment scheme would be launched very soon; wherein, the businessmen would declare their incomes themselves in returns and the government would have the option of using [the] third-party audit in case of doubt in declaration. It is admirable that the FBR would remain out even in these cases, while the filer would have to respond and satisfy the third-party audit team,” he added.

The FPCCI former president said that during the last three years of the present government, it had faced numerous economic challenges, which were also aggravated by the pandemic.

However, the government has quite successfully progressed from recovery and stabilisation of the national economy to its sustainable growth. The impact of the federal government’s timely and appropriate measures is very much visible in the form of an economic recovery on the back of broad-based growth across all sectors.

Now Pakistan’s economy is moving progressively on a higher inclusive and sustainable growth path on the back of various measures and resultant achievements, despite challenges.

For this fiscal year, there is an anticipation of favourable weather conditions as the GDP is targeted to grow at 4.8 per cent. The agriculture sector is likely to grow 3.5 per cent based on the revival of cotton, water availability, certified seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, and agriculture credit facilities.

The industrial sector is expected to maintain its momentum and is targeted to grow at 6.2 per cent.

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The Groucho

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