The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to bring drastic reforms in the taxation system to make it balanced, fair and simplified. This, they believe, is essential to spur the economic growth of the country, as the current taxation system was only stagnating business and economic growth.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that a 28 percent increase in domestic tax collection was recorded during the first two months of the current fiscal year, which was encouraging. He, however, also said that Pakistan was mostly depending on sales tax (ST) for tax revenue, which contributed to over 38 percent to the total tax collection in 2017-18. But he said that the major reliance of ST was a regressive approach as it was putting a huge burden on most consumers and businesses, especially the "common man". 

ICCI President also said that though the standard rate of GST was 17%, its actual incidence was over 40% in many cases after applicable customs duty, regulatory duty, mandatory value addition and advance income tax. 

Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that according to a new document prepared by the World Bank titled "Pakistan Revenue Mobilisation Project", our country’s tax revenue could reach 26 per cent of GDP, if tax compliance was raised to 75 per cent. It showed that the gap between actual and potential tax collection was 50 per cent, which could be captured by developing a fair taxation system.

They said that taxation was a multifaceted instrument, that if used in consideration of different socio-demographics, could become an effective means of improving the economy.