ISLAMABAD  -   Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Thursday lauded the government for extending the last date for filing corporate returns.

The government has accepted the demand of late filers so that their names remain in the Active Taxpayers List (ATL) which is praiseworthy, said Patron ICST Shahid Rasheed Butt. The decision will benefit the government as it will expand the taxpayers list and improve revenue collection which is short of target, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that policy of continuously hounding existing taxpayers should be reversed and emphasis should be laid on finding new taxpayers. He noted that the upcoming mini-budget would add an extra burden on the business community and add to the inflation hurting masses.

The mini-budget should not hit the compliant taxpayers very hard otherwise it will not only harm the image of the government but also promote tax evasion and expand the undocumented economy, he observed. The business leader said that national development will remain a dream unless radical changes are introduced in the tax policies otherwise masses will have to brave more mini-budgets.

Changing the way taxes are collected by the government and is usually undertaken to improve tax administration or to provide economic or social benefits but it has not proved successful in Pakistan, he noted.

The entire tax administration should be totally revamped to fulfil the dream of naya Pakistan as the business community which is reeling under continued uncertainty and ambiguity is worthy of some relief.