CBER hosts Round Table on Taxation
The Center for Business and Economic Research held the first Coffee@CBER session on July 25th 2019 at IBA, Karachi. The theme of the forum was "Tax Revenue Mobilization in Pakistan: Issues, Challenges and Future Prospects. The forum was attended by policymakers, government and business leaders, and visionaries to discuss the key issues that face the economy; especially Pakistan's potential to collect more taxes to meet IMF targets. Panelists included Dr. Kaiser Bengali, Dr. Qazi Masood Ahmed, Ms.Naheed Memon, Mr. Amman Ghanchi, and Mr. Mushtaque Kazmi.
The panel unanimously agreed that the solution to Pakistan's fiscal deficit lies in curtailing non-development government expenditure, and not raising more taxes. The panelists argued that the economy is in recession, and increasing taxes at such a time further drives down growth and leaves very little headroom for the government to stimulate the economy. While the tax revenues of the government have seen some improvement, there is still a lot to be done to increase the share of direct taxes and bringing down the cost of tax collection. The discussion also highlighted that despite rising fiscal deficit, sectors such as health and education need consistent spending to increase future capacity.
This session was a first of a series of round table discussions that CBER will host on different aspects of the Pakistan's economy.