ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Monday that the government has informed the dealers that it will not relinquish its authority to impose taxes. In answer to a question from the media about whether the prime minister needed to speak with the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about the upcoming review, the adviser on finance was succinct: “no, he doesn’t.”
When asked about the industry’s gas supply being cut off during the winter, he replied the subject should be sent to the energy minister.
Earlier, speaking as chief guest at a convention of Kamyab Jawan Programme, Tarin said that he has conveyed to the delegation of traders from all over the country, Thursday that they have to pay taxes and state would not compromise on its right of taking taxes.
The government would use the data bank – utility bills, bank accounts, vehicles and travel information – and their consumption pattern would be used to assess their tax liabilities for sending them tax bill.
He said that artificial intelligence would be used to estimate their income and sending them their tax bill. If they did not agree, they would have the option of a third-party audit.The adviser said that the government has decided to reduce the role of the tax authority but this does not mean the people would not pay taxes. He said that everyone has to pay its due share of taxes to increase the dismally low tax-to-GDP ratio.
When traders raised the issue of the FBR and the NADRA data sharing, he said, he informed them that “we have all the data, bills, bank account details, vehicle value, travel information, accommodation details, and now we will use artificial intelligence to estimate their income”.
Tarin said that many people have been arguing that what was the point of paying taxes when the government does not provide them any facility.
He stated that those people do not see that they are using roads and electricity, even though some do not pay for electricity and the government ensures law and order and security for them within the country and on the border.
He said that there would be only two taxes: income tax and expenditure tax (GST). Other taxes would be abolished in the next couple of years.The adviser emphasised the need of raising the tax from dismally low nine percent to 20 percent and stated that the SMEs are backbone of the country.
He said that Pakistan was the fourth largest economy in 60s and that golden era has to be brought back but regretted that the country has gone down to 25th place.
“We have to bring this lost glory back,” he said, adding that those who do not pay taxes should not have the right to vote as a foreign ambassador told him that in her country there was no representation without taxation.
The adviser said that more than 60 percent population of the country is below 30 years of age and the prime minister wanted to exploit this potential and Kamyab Jawan Programme, a vision of the prime minister, was launched and now a Kamyab Pakistan programme is also being launched.