KARACHI: The Federal Minister of Law and Justice, Dr. Farogh Naseem, has said that because a lot of economic activity is generated in the agricultural sector, the federal government should collect the agricultural tax.
Speaking as the main guest at the annual dinner of the Pakistan Tax Lawyers Association (PTBA) on Saturday night, the minister said that according to Article 77 of the constitutional tax should be imposed according to law, but after the adoption of the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, had to become a provincial subject.
However, Dr. Naseem was quick to add that the law should be fair. When the size of the economy based on agriculture was so large and "constituted up to 80 percent [the country’s economic activity] What was wrong if the federal government collects taxes on agriculture? "
Referring to a recent controversy over article 149, the law minister said it was unfortunate that every time an article of the Constitution was discussed, a lot of tone and tears were raised.
He said the immediate reaction to his statement on the article was "this was being done to divide the province of Sindh. But the fact is that they want to continue plundering and plundering the country's wealth."
He said that taxes were collected only from "20-25 percent of the economy and the question was: what about 70-80 percent of the activity generated in rural areas of Pakistan?"
He spoke extensively about the obstacles created in the appointment of a judicial member of the Court of Appeal of Income Tax. The Federal Public Services Commission organized a test in 2013-14, but the appointment was made earlier this year.
He said that the issue had been discussed with Prime Minister Imran Khan and the President of Justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, would also be contacted to guide him in developing a system to ensure early appointments.
The minister said that vacancies of accountants and technical members of the tax court could be filled by qualified tax professionals, public accountants and others.
Dr. Naseem stressed the need to broaden the tax base and added that a limited number of people cannot be expected to assume the burden of generating income for eternity.
He said the role of the Federal Revenue Board (FBR) had changed after Syed Shabbar Zaidi took over and the tax collection agency became a facilitator.
Responding to questions posed by PTBA President Abdul Qadir Memon, the law minister agreed that sufficient time should be allowed for filing tax returns and that the FBR should take all interested parties into account before taking a important decision
Dr. Naseem expressed the hope that the country will soon overcome its problems.
Posted on Dawn, September 23, 2019