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Taxing small traders

Staff Reporter
Islamabad

The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the plan of the government to impose a fixed tax on small retailers across the country. The move will expand tax base, document economy, raise revenue and may provide some relief to the industrial sector which is paying 72 percent of the taxes, it said. The move will also reduce incidences of harassment by tax officials and help shrink the size of expanding the undocumented economy, said Chairman Brig. Muhammad Aslam Khan (Retd). He said that the proposed tax should be imposed immediately in Islamabad and provincial capitals after consultation with the stakeholders. The ambit of the tax should be expanded gradually across the country while improving it at the same time, he added. Brig. Muhammad Aslam Khan industrial sector is overburdened with taxes which is not only holding back its expansion but also hindering job creation. A just tax system will automatically promote industrialisation which is imperative for the national development, he added. He noted that all the efforts aimed at incentivizing non-compliant segments including retailers have failed to get desired results due to opposition by the business community.The business community need a simple and transparent tax system to build public confidence in its taxation regime as unnecessary complexity and uncertainty in any shape or form will remain counterproductive, he said.