Tax net expanded by 40 per cent: Dar

ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said that due to prudent government policies the tax net had increased by 40 per cent during the last two and a half years.
He said when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power in 2013, the country’s tax growth was three per cent with 711,000 tax return filers, which had now crossed one million. The government was trying to increase the number of tax payers by facilitating them, he added.
To a question, he said no legislator could take benefit of voluntary tax compliance scheme. It was aimed at bringing traders into the tax net. During last two regimes, efforts were made to bring the traders into tax net but such schemes were rolled back after failure, he added.
Ishaq Dar said the government had announced an asset regularization scheme for the non-filers of income tax returns, offering them to declare their hidden assets of up to Rs 50 million by paying a nominal 1% tax. This package was especially for stock traders, he added.
He said the scheme was finalized after many meetings with the representatives of traders belonging to different political parties.
Replying to another question, he said all-out efforts were being made to steer Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) out of financial crisis. Due to the steps the PIA’s performance had improved, he added.
The minister urged the opposition parties to formulate a collective roadmap to bring economic stability in the country.
He said the government had reduced the fiscal deficit by 50%.It had to take hard decisions to achieve economic stability, particularly during first two years of its tenure, which also helped regain the confidence of international financial institutions.
The country had made a significant progress in energy sector and various economic targets were achieved, he added.

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