LAHORE   -  Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has stressed the need for adopting better tax policies for encouraging local and foreign investment.

In a statement issued on Thursday, LCCI President Almas Hyder urged the government not to accept strict conditions of IMF. He suggested flat tax instead of sticking to traditional tax system.

Almas Hyder said flat taxation system would help faster economic growth and reduce the complexities.

“It is a well-established fact that the existing tax system has certain structural and operational weaknesses”, he said, adding, taxpayers were victims of the existing system and rigid attitude of taxation machinery. “Resultantly, the tax net is not broadening and present taxpayers are forced to bear extra burden. On the other hand this scenario is adversely affecting the performance of our economy”, he said.

He said that ranking in ease of doing business was calculated after evaluating different factors. “Paying taxes is one of them. It should not be surprising for anyone that under the head of paying taxes, Pakistan is ranked at 173rd place”, he said.

The LCCI President said that businessmen pay different taxes for at least 47 times a year. “This number keeps on increasing when a company is operating in other provinces which can go to around 95. Businessmen in Hong Kong pay 3, UAE 4, Ireland 9, Malaysia 8, India 13 and in Sri Lanka businessmen pay 36 taxes. Pakistan has to compete with these countries in the international market”, he said.