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‘Consider tax payment a national obligation’

Will create new tax authority if FBR cannot be fixed, PM warns
NEWS DESK
RAWALPINDI
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the federal government had cut down its expenditures and now the tax structure was being reformed to stimulate the economy, ARY News reported.
Addressing a gathering of All Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference in Rawalpindi, PM Khan said people must pay taxes and consider it as their ‘national obligation’.
The improvement of tax structure is important for the Naya Pakistan, remarked the prime minister. “We cannot collect adequate taxes until reforms are introduced in the Federal Board of Revenue.” If we fail in reforming Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), we will form a new revenue institution, the prime minister said.
“It takes time to frame policies and rectify mistakes [of the past]”, he added, stating that it was alarming that Pakistan’s debt soared from $6 billion to $30 billion in the last ten years. “It will take time, but the situation will improve,” he vowed.
He cited that taxes were collected from the rich in Europe and spent on the poor. “We need to implement the same system here.”
PM Khan was of the view that improving tax net was crucial as it was connected to the national security. “If people won’t pay taxes, the nation will remain the slaves.”
“I want the [people present here] to tell their peers that no society in the world can survive without paying taxes; how can it be that in a nation comprising 210mn people, only 72,000 people declared salary of Rs. 200,000 per month?”, he questioned.
Imran Khan said he had spoken to Finance Minister Asad Umar, and his economic advisor Razzak Dawood regarding grievances of the business community. He said no power can disintegrate a nation when it stood united. “I have complete confidence on the nation,” he added. PM Khan said his aim was to rid the country of poverty. “Constructing hospitals for the poor is also my utmost priority,” he underlined.
He reiterated that his government wanted to transform Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state.
The history suggests ideological nations could neither be suppressed nor they could be forced to bow down.



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