Shabbar sounds serious about taxing retail imports

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Staff Reporter

Karachi

Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR, sent out a loud warning to smugglers and declared that starting from the 1st of September the FBR was declaring war at the retail level where non-taxed imported goods were flooding the market to the great detriment of the national exchequer. The manufacturing sector, he said, was bearing the brunt of taxation while the trade and unorganized services sector was getting off scot-free.
The Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) celebrated its 55th anniversary at its 21st Convention, with Shabbar Zaidi sounding more than just a warning note on the delicate state of Pakistan’s economy as it comes to grips with a long overdue overhaul of the taxation system that will add value to the present dismal tax to GDP ratio.
He made it amply clear that the import led Dubai Model of economic development would not work, and if Pakistanis kept parking their money overseas then the crisis at home would no doubt go from bad to worse.
He said that no tangible investment had been made in the last 70 years, and we were all complicit in running two Pakistan’s, one for the Haves and the other for the Have-nots.
Mr. Zaidi said that we have been too inconsistent in our policy-making, and in the last 40 years we have divorced the Books of Accounts from the Taxation system. We do not have reliable data and the documentation of the economy remains wishful thinking.
Zaidi spoke of the complete disharmony between the mindsets of the tax collector and the taxpayer, and said that the solution lay in fixing the system instead of reforming the individual. In this connection the FBR had instituted reforms that simplified the process and ensured minimum interaction between the FBR and the taxpayers.