The Investment Climate Reform Unit (ICRU), Planning and Development, Punjab, held the first Task Force meeting, to address the taxation issues faced by the private sector in the province. The Task Force on Taxation Reforms is an extension of the Public Private Dialogue Council, formulated under the PPD mechanism of ICRU, and is one of the several critical decision undertaken during the 3rd PPD Council session chaired by Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, Chairman P&D Board upon request from the Private Sector.
The Taxation Reforms task force meeting was led by Mr. Bruno Olierhoek – President OICCI and CEO Nestle and Ms. MaleehaBangash, MD ICRU. Other private sector representatives and sector experts in attendance were Saquib Hussain Shirazi- CEO Atlas Honda; Almas Hyder – Chairman of the Board, Synthetic Products Enterprises Ltd; Samir Ahmed- CEO Knightsbridge Capital; Dr. Ikram Ul Haq- Advocate Supreme Court & Chief Partner Huzaima & Ikram; Usman Khan, Adjunct Faculty at LUMS; Naeem Mohsin- Financial Controller, Atlas Honda Lahore; Hammad Zafar – Head of Taxation Nestle and representatives from Finance department Punjab.
The main areas of discussion during the meeting were frequency of taxation and need for harmonization of tax regimes between the provinces and federal government. A need for the establishment of one agency for collection of tax was also brought to light. It was further deliberated that these issues not only adversely affect the profit margins but also restrain competition in the market.
Bangash recognized the contributions made by the private sector to the national exchequer with its commendable revenue generation and also as a source of employment generation. She also reiterated the message of the Chairman P&D Board that ICRU is a friend and partner of the private sector form the government by assuring the participants that their proposed recommendations will be escalated to the high echelons of government which were crucial in the creation of an enabling business environment in the Province.