KARACHI: The Sindh government pursues a progressive tax policy rather than a regressive one with low tax rate as its cardinal component, said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday.
“No new tax was levied in the budget 2017-18, announced on June 5, 2017, maintaining the standard rate at 13 per cent, the lowest in any tax domain in the country, he said while talking to Sindh Revenue Board chairman Khalid Mahmood.
The chief minister was presented SRB annual report 2016-17, according to a press release.
“The revenue target of Rs100 billion set for FY 2017-18 poses an enormous challenge,” he said, urging the SRB employees to employ all resources and put in their best efforts to achieve this target without compromising organization’s taxpayer-friendly image, espoused over the years.
The report presented him by Chairman SRB Khalid Mahmood says 2016-17 was marked by a certain salience.
The standard rate was reduced from 14 to 13 per cent, while the annual target was scaled up 28 per cent over the previous year, to Rs 78 billion.
This was a daunting challenge given that the Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) was already confronted with a shrinking revenue space owing to the year-on-year incremental revenue expansion, since its start of the operations in 2011-12.
The ports and terminal operators, telecommunication, insurance and banks remained the principal contributors. Contract execution, franchise and constructions also provided increased revenues.
Nonetheless a lot of areas remained uncharted and yet to be tapped into the system. This report acknowledges the contribution of the taxpayers in the top 10 sectors.
Nevertheless, enormous efforts are required to open up the services sector, predominately in the informal segment of the economy, to boost documentation and the tax revenue, with the past nationwide experience not serving as a guide. – APP
Story first published: 5th April 2018