ISLAMABAD   -   Founder Chairman Pak US Business Council and veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik Tuesday said the entire business community including Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce, all its affiliated chambers, trade bodies and associations will extend full support to the tax amnesty scheme and broadening tax base.

He said that the government’s steps were aimed to help strengthen the bleak economy on sound footings; thus, lessening the burden on existing taxpayers.

Talking to media on Tuesday, Iftikhar Ali Malik welcomed tax-amnesty scheme and termed it a judicious step of the government to bring tax evaders under tax net by exposing their undocumented and undeclared properties and wealth within country and abroad by paying nominal tax,” according to a statement.

He also emphasised to create awareness about converting the black money into white money, to increase the confidence of tax payer, incentives for the SMEs, exports warehouses, agriculture sector, removal of piracy, mis-declaration and smuggling.

He further said that the tax collection system in Pakistan is very complicated which needs to be reviewed as per global   environment. Moreover, the tax amnesty scheme should also boost industrialization and create new investment in other than real estate sector of economy and improve cost/ease of doing business.

Iftikhar Malik said Pakistan needed such type of amnesty scheme because people transferred their money abroad due to terrorism and poor law and order situation in the past.

“The law and order situation is now fully restored in the country and people can bring their money back by taking full advantage of the new scheme,” he added. He said that all must avail this gold opportunity and whiten their wealth and hidden properties through legal process and contributes towards national economy.

Shedding light on broadening tax network in the country, the veteran trade leader said plugging of revenue leakage and broadening of tax net will ultimately benefit the existing taxpayers in terms of reduction in heavy taxation.

He said out of 220 million Pakistanis only one percent were paying taxes which meant 1 percent Pakistanis were bearing the burden of 220 million people and this gap can be bridged through sincere efforts backed by the government. He said the country was passing through a severe economic crisis which could be overcome by declaring assets and paying taxes.

Iftikhar Malik said that documentation of economy is vital for economic uplift and asked the government to introduce amendments in laws so that registration of income tax filing can be made hassle free.

He appreciated chairman’s maiden directives to the field formation that there would be no bank account attachment unless prior information to the taxpayer and the approval of the FBR chairman is obtained.

He also demanded that more incentives should be given to tax payers and reforms must be introduced in tax regime to help broadening the tax net and increasing the tax payers numbers.