NA body recommends cut in GST by 2pc

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National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance Tuesday recommended reducing General Sales Tax (GST) from current 17 per cent to 15 per cent for the next fiscal year (2017-18) in order to facilitate people.

The committee also recommended expanding the tax base by introducing further structural reforms in the prevailing system.

The meeting of the committee was chaired by Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh.

Member of National Assembly (MNA) Asad Umar said dependence upon withholding and indirect taxes should be reduced by taking drastic measures. He also proposed to impose 0.5 per cent net wealth tax, which should be adjustable against the income tax as this measure would help the generation of extra Rs300 to Rs400 billion a year. The net wealth tax could be gradually increased in future, he added.

The committee also proposed revaluation of the real estate property; at the same time, the committee also recommended reducing property tax.

MNA Mustafa Mehmood on the occasion said, “Usage of digital money should be promoted in order to document the economy.”

Asad Umar also opposed the idea of giving amnesty schemes, saying this would encourage the tax evaders. “The government should give exemplary punishment to the tax evaders in a bid to discourage the habit of tax evasion,” he added.

The committee decided to convene single agenda meeting to discuss the budget proposals on April 26, where all concerned stakeholders and departments would be invited.

Regarding the issue of property purchased by Pakistani nationals in Dubai, Asad Umar pointed out that he had asked the concerned departments regarding the validity of those transactions, but he did not receive a positive response.

Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh said at the next regular meeting, the officials of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigating Agency (FIA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) would be summoned to reply the questions raised by Asad Umar.

The meeting was also attended by Daniyal Aziz, Muhammad Pervaiz Malik,  and Dr Shizra Mansab Ali Khan.