Growing numbers of taxpayers a positive step towards revenue goals: minister


LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha Tuesday said that the number of taxpayers in the province had increased with an estimation of 45,000 to 46,000 people, which was a positive gesture towards revenue generation goals.

The minister was addressing the participants of an event titled “Pre-Budget Conference 2018-19: Tax Reforms in Pakistan” organised by the School of Commerce and Accountancy at the University of Management and Technology (UMT). She also said the number of taxpayers could further be multiplied if universities raise awareness among the people to return their tax files and formally register for tax net.

“We need to change our perception of tax and the budget by keeping in mind that the more people pay taxes, the better would be lifestyle and facilities,” said the minister and added that when the number of taxpayers expanded, every budget whether it was provincial or federal, turned to be more attractive, meaningful and public friendly.

Shedding light on the Punjab government’s policies, Dr Aisha said that the government was taking several initiatives to restore confidence between taxpayers and the government. She said the government wanted to provide maximum opportunities of health, education and other basic facilities to the masses, but it was also the responsibility of every citizen to change his or her traditional way of thinking about tax ratio and the GDP.

Addressing the conference, UMT Director General Abid H K Shirwani said that educational institutions in collaboration with chambers of commerce and industry, and other professional bodies could help the government to increase the number of taxpayers and sensibly work out the budget.

Other speakers who addressed the gathering were ICMA Pakistan President Ziaullah Mustafa, ACCA Pakistan Head Sajjeed Aslam and ICAP Executive Director Razi Khan. They urged the government to reform its rule of converting black money into white and restructure tax collecting bodies as their performances were not up to the mark.

Later, UMT Rector Dr Muhammad Aslam gave away souvenirs to the guests.