KARACHI: –   ‘The ratio of direct taxes in Pakistan is just 11 percent which is lowest in all the South Asian countries; whereas India has 33, Bangladesh 46 and Sri Lanka 34 percent, respectively.  While the indirect taxation is the highest in our country, which is 89%’. These facts were revealed at the annual Pre-Budget Seminar, organized by the Southern Regional Committee (SRC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) here at a local hotel on April 21st, 2017.

The event was held in connection with the Federal Budget 2017-18 and was attended by some 300 participants, comprising both members (including council members and past presidents) and non-members. According to the organizers, they received highly encouraging feedback from the participants.

Some of the immediate suggestions given by the SRC-ICAP to the FBR including concrete steps to revive the confidence of existing taxpayers in FBR; The tax department needs to be pulled out of the mad rush of tax collection; Audits, amendments in assessment & monitoring of withholding tax proceedings should be harmonized to create one effective proceeding, for both taxpayers and tax officers. Controversy on selection of cases for audit needs to be resolved by taking all stakeholder into confidence; Unchecked use of coercive measures for recovery of taxes to be put to checks and balances.

The seminar commenced with the opening remarks by Mohammad Zulfikar Akhtar (FCA-CPD Convener, SRC-ICAP).

The presentation on Direct Taxation was delivered by Haider A. Patel, FCA, member ICAP Taxation Committee. It was followed by the demonstration given by Asif Haroon, FCA, and Member ICAP Taxation Committee on Indirect Taxation. In his talk, he highlighted the current practices of Indirect Taxation with proposed recommendations, backed up with a rationale for each one. Indirect taxation in Pakistan is 89 per cent, the highest in comparison to India, i.e. 67, Bangladesh 54 and Sri Lanka 66 percent, respectively.

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Ehsan Malik Chairman Pakistan Business Council had given his demoto share the expectations of the Industry from the budget.

Later, a panel discussion took place in which the above-mentioned speakers were the panelists. It was moderated by Junaid Shekha, FCA, CEO IT Minds Limited. After the engaging panel discussion, a detailed Q&A session was followed.

Ayaz Mahmood, Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue Large Taxpayers, FBR, the session chairman was invited on stage to share his views to conclude it. He commented on the measures the FBR is planning to facilitate the tax payer better. Thereafter, mementos were distributed to both the speakers and the chief guest.Abdul Rab, FCA, Chairman SRC- ICAP offered a vote of thanks to the guest speakers, moderator and session chairman.

Farhan Khan
Mr. Farhan Khan, holding a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) in 1st Division from the University of Karachi. Farhan Khan has got rich experience in Communications, Public relations and Media, with some excellent communication, writing, managerial and reporting skills.Once a part of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as a Communication & Liaison Officer (2010-2012), he is currently serving Live Rostrum, as Manager Regional Leads for the Live Rostrum News Agency.

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