Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht Wednesday said that since coming to power, Punjab government had been striving hard to improve the business environment and to provide maximum facilitation to the business community which was the backbone of the economy.
The minister expressed these views while addressing the business community here at Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). With the introduction of online taxpaying facility, he added, taxpayers would no longer need to visit banks and stand in queues to deposit their taxes, thus the compliance cost of the taxpayers would be reduced.
Hashim Jawan said the government intended to make the facility available for all provincial taxes. However, the Punjab Revenue Authority had taken the lead in this regard and payment of Sales Tax on Services through alternate delivery channels would be available by the end of December. Subsequently, the facility would be incrementally expanded to cover taxes collected by Excise and Taxation Department and Board of Revenue.
Speaking on the occasion, FPCCI Vice President and Regional Chairman Chaudry Arfan Yousaf was of the view that trade deficit would only be addressed if competitiveness of the export sector was addressed.
He noted that rupee had been held artificially at one level and not allowed to find its true value during five years of last government, resulted in mounting pressure on the local unit. Delay in reforming power sector and selling public sector entities had resulted in a colossal deficit which should be tackled, he added.
He said that agriculture was no more the largest sector of economy but it continued to provide jobs to the majority of the labor.
FPCCI Vice President Ch Shafique Anjum called for taking effective measures to bridge gap between imports and export. The Federation’s Vice President Ms.Shahbnam Zafar said that government should take more steps to control imports and boost exports.