Federal budget 2018-19 to be business-friendly: minister

FAISALABAD, Feb 17 (APP):State Minister for Finance Rana
Muhammad Afzal Khan on Saturday said the federal budget 2018-19
will be business-friendly and utmost efforts would be made
to make it tax free.
He was addressing a function at the Faisalabad Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (FCCI) in which draft of budget proposals were presented to him.
The minister said that no doubt the government was facing multiple challenges but our effort was to continue the existing pace of economic.
Underlining the importance of industrial sector, he said
the government fully understood that progress and prosperity was
directly linked with industrial growth and he would visit
Karachi, Sukkhar, Peshawar and other cities to discuss
matters of mutual interest with all sectors of economy.
He said the government would formulate the budget without
any ad hoc or short term benefits. “We are hoping to return
in the government in coming general elections and hence we
don’t want to create any economic problems for the next
government”, he said and added that political governments
always prefer to avoid new taxation.
“We will try our best to enhance revenue by improving the
existing tax recovery system in the country”, he added.
Regarding attitude of the tax collectors,
Rana Muhammad Afzal said that being a businessman, he himself
feel that the attitude of tax collectors should be improved
and in this connection a systematic effort would be made by restricting
direct contact between the tax payers and tax collectors.
He said the FBR would be requested to bring each and
every person with taxable income into the tax net respectfully.
He added the FCCI should also cooperate in this drive and
request its members to pay taxes voluntarily if they fall within the
requisite slab of income tax.
He said that it will indirectly benefit our business
community as it will help them to maintain book of accounts
which are prerequisite to launch joint ventures with their
counterpart by submitting their balance sheet.
He quoted his recent visit to China to attend a road show
and told that five to six hundred Chinese companies participated
in it.
He said that the government had also credit to clearly
differentiate between filers and non-filers in order to streamline
the tax system.
Regarding tax rate, he disclosed that the government was
actively considering a proposal to increase the minimum tax slab
to Rs six to eight lac.
Regarding corporate tax, he said that its ratio could also be
trimmed from 30 to 20 per cent and told that it could be further
reduced to 15 per cent if the kitty was able to absorb this decrease.
He also mentioned his visit to Italy and said during this visit three MoUs were
signed under which Institute of Marble Cutting and Polishing, Institute of Leather and
Shoes, Institute of Fashion and Design and Institute of Knitwear would be established.
He said that he will try his best that Institute of Fashion should be housed in National Textile University. He told that commercial attaches are being deputed in 58 countries which will give a quantum jump to our exports.
Earlier, in his welcome address, FCCI President Shabbir Hussain Chawla underlined the need of revenue collection for smooth growth of national economy and said that basically taxes were by-products of businesses and the government must facilitate businessmen to increase its revenue.
Later, Khalid Habib Sheikh chairman APTPMA handed over draft budget proposals to Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan while former President Sheikh Abdul Qayyum presented him FCCI shield.