Widening the tax net: PM launches Voluntary Tax Compliance scheme

ISLAMABAD: Representative of Trade Leaders presenting Gold Medal to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM Office Islamabad during the launching ceremony of New Filer Scheme. INP PHOTO

PM Urges business community to pay taxes transparently for development and greater prosperity

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the business community to pay taxes transparently for more development and prosperity in the country, through the launch of the Voluntary Tax Compliance scheme.

Addressing the launch ceremony of the “Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme” for registration of non-filer traders, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the government had taken the challenges head on to steer the country out of the crisis and put it on the path of progress and prosperity.

“We have to defeat the challenges at every cost,” the prime minister said, and added, “As a result of measures taken by the government, the situation is much better than it was three to four years ago.”

Sharif said that the government believed in resolving the issues with understanding and consultation. He said that this spirit will take the country forward on the path of progress and prosperity. He said that it would also help end problems of the country like terrorism, poverty, unemployment.

The premier told traders the government had taken steps towards resolving issues such as the restoration of law and order in the country and counter-terrorism.

“Peace in Karachi is necessary for peace in the entire country,” he said. “Government is taking steps to reform sectors including health, education and road links as well.”

Sharif said that the situation in the country had improved in comparison with the state of affairs a few years ago. “Economic reforms have yielded positive results and economic prosperity in the country will change the fate of the nation,” he said.

Traders play an integral role in the development of the economy, he said, adding that the government would provide support to traders in every possible way.

“The PML-N led government has stepped forward to deal with internal and external challenges while policies are being devised after consultation with the relevant stakeholders in this regard in order to steer the country towards progress,” Sharif said.

The government believes in resolving issues with mutual understanding and consultation, he told members of the business community. “This spirit will take the country forth on the path towards progress and prosperity.”

In his speech, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the scheme would be presented in the parliament and after the approval, beneficiaries of the scheme will get legal cover.

The finance minister said that everyone except members of parliament and provincial assemblies can take benefit of the scheme. He said hat those convicted in terrorism, money laundering and under anti-narcotics laws also cannot take benefit of this scheme.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenues, Haroon Akhtar Khan in his speech said that the number of tax filers had increased from 700,000 to one million.

He said that SROs worth Rs 223 billion had been abolished and no concessionary SRO had been issued. He said now SROs can only be issued with the approval of the elected parliament.

He said that for the first time a separate system has been introduced for non-filers. He said the scheme would benefit the traders who have not filed their returns for the last ten years.

He said that those who filed returns worth Rs 1 million or more were not required to file wealth tax under the scheme.

Speaking on the occasion Anjuman-e-Tajran Chairman Khawaja Shafiq fully endorsed the voluntary tax compliance scheme and said that he would work to make it successful.


  1. Tax collection is a complicated process. Launching this scheme is a clear indication that the FBR has utterly failed to meet the target. An Editorial observed that the FBR is the biggest hurdle in collecting tax in collaboration with the Rich-Mafia of the country. All who matter to finance the country – WB, IMF,ADB etc have asked the Government to expand the tax-base but not done deliberately. Neither could the Government do anything to control the flight of Foreign currency out of the country. A former director NAB, Adm Fasih Bukhari also pointed out that billions of US$ are smuggled out the country's Airports daily. Also pointed out by Dr Asim of PPP that there are 20-25 money-mules, like Ayan Ali busy in smuggling FE out of the country under the protection of their powerful sponsors. How could Pakistanis deposit US$ 200bn in Swiss Banks otherwise ? Mr Dar (Sb) accepted it publicly and promised to bring back that money. So far he did not. He can not. So, Good Luck Mr Prime Minister.

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