LAHORE: Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar Tuesday pledged to take up business community taxation-related issues with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The Governor was talking to a 10-member Lahore Chamber delegation led by LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari and comprising Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, Vice President Kashif Anwar, former Presidents Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Mian Anjum Nisar, Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Executive Committee Members Muhammad Haroon Arora, Maqsood Ahmad Butt, Chairman OIC Standing Committee Husnain Reza Mirza and Co-Chairman Mahmood Ghaznavi.
The Governor agreed with the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari that tax procedures should be simplified, untaxed sectors be taxed while there must be a comprehensive strategy to deal with under-invoicing and high rate of taxes.
The Governor said that he understands that the implementation of LCCI taxation proposals would give much needed rise in Tax-to-GDP in the country that is lowest in the region and a number of international donors were calling for increase in this ratio.
He said that he would soon have a meeting with the Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to apprise him of the challenges hitting hard the economy. He said that there were no two opinions that all incomes should be taxed so that the economy could get required pace at its earliest.
Appreciating the LCCI initiative to hold three-day second OIC Ambassadors and Trade Conference scheduled for April 11 to 13 in Lahore, the Governor said that the Punjab government would extend every possible help for the success of this mega event.
Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said the Punjab government believes that the OIC Ambassadors and Trade Conference would give new boost to business among Muslim countries that have a huge potential in various sectors of the economy.
The Governor said that as soon as the LCCI finalizes its recommendations for smooth flow of goods among the OIC members, the government would make all out efforts to implement those suggestions.
On the occasion, the LCCI President gave a detailed briefing to the Governor Punjab on the OIC Ambassadors and Trade Conference and thanked him for playing role for the success of the event.
He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry was not only putting in its relentless efforts for the promotion of regional trade but was also working out a strategy to promote trade among all 57 Muslim countries.
Engineer Sohail Lashari said that it was not the Ambassadors of the OIC countries that had already given their consent to attend the conference but a large number of businessmen and sector specific experts from these countries were also taking part in this mega event that would be first of its kind in Lahore. He said that there would be two sessions of B-2-B meetings among the participants.
The LCCI President said that the LCCI was also inviting the businessmen and the heads of all leading banks to the conference as there were countries where Pakistani businessmen were facing banking issues.
Talking about taxation issues, the LCCI President said that there must be frequent meetings between the LCCI and the FBR authorities as any further delay in resolution of these issues would hit hard the government’s plans to revive economic activities.
He also urged the Governor Punjab to play his role for bringing the untaxed sectors including the Agriculture sector into the tax net as the size of gray economy was ballooning with every passing day.
The LCCI president also shared his idea of Public-Private Dialogue with the Governor and said that the spade work had already been done to this regard and a complete working paper and its implementation strategy would be presented to the Chief minister soon.