ISLAMABAD - President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday lauded the commitment of the new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to broaden the tax net.

The Prime Minister has decided to bring every rich person including Parliamentarians into the tax net which is laudable and he should focus on expansion in tax base and reduction in tax rates.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the PM has assured the nation about a continuity of Nawaz Sharif’s policies which is laudable and encouraging for the business community.

He said that the PM was not happy about the state of taxation in the country and he said that those who do not pay taxes and live a luxurious life will have to pay taxes now and those who failed to pay will face stern action.

It has become a matter of concern that fiscal deficit over the recently concluded fiscal year was 4.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), greater than the 3.8 percent target set by the government, he added.

The business leader said that disappointing figures are coming up at a time when the government is in the last leg of its tenure and the rulers are unlikely to be able to show greater fiscal discipline before the elections

Despite the withdrawal of some of the exemptions, the government has failed to broaden the tax base resulting in dismal tax-to- GDP ratio.

For the very same reason, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently called for the need to go for fresh taxation measures worth around 1.5 percent of GDP during the current fiscal year which should act as a wakeup call.