LAHORE: As a forerunner part of Tax Day celebrations, Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) organised a debate competition at Government College University (GCU) on the topic “Tax evasion is an impediment to growth”.
The purpose of the debate was to increase tax awareness among the new generation and to highlight the shortcomings of tax evasion and its negative effect on the economy. Students from leading universities, including Punjab University, Kinnaird College University, GCU and King Edward, participated in the event. The winners were given cash prizes while certificates and shields were distributed among the participants and faculty members.
In his opening remarks, GCU Vice Chancellor Amir Hassan Shah said that revenue authorities were engaged in generating revenue on behalf of the government which ultimately was used for the betterment of the society. PRA Member Legal Kamran Ahmed said that PRA, as part of Tax Day celebrations, deliberately targeted the youth to educate them regarding the importance of taxes.
Auqaf and Religious Affairs Minister Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri, while admiring the intellectual level of the students, said that it was the youth who would determine the future road map of the nation. He appreciated PRA’s efforts in introducing such a healthy competition as part of its Tax Day celebrations on a topic which he thought was the need of the hour and advised PRA to introduce such healthy activities more often. He also commended the authority’s initiative in collecting taxes and backed PRA’s stance against the tax evaders and gave his full support to the department for the eradication of this menace. He also said that for Pakistan to become prosperous and developed, the economy had to become self-sustainable.
PRA Chairman Raheal Ahmed Siddiqui thanked the Qadri for his support and commended the participants for giving a thorough insight to the repercussions of tax evasion. He emphasised the fact that tax evasion was like a poison in the society which needed to be eradicated as soon as possible. In his remarks, he said that PRA was the only tax collection agency in the country which had implemented a restaurant invoice monitoring system known as RIMS to curb sales tax evasion by restaurants. He also stated that the authority was in the process to implement similar smart monitoring systems in different sectors to control tax evasion. While addressing the same gathering, the chairman said that through proper planning and management by the authority, a drastic increase in revenue could be seen every year.