LAHORE - The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) has reiterated its demand to cut down the sales tax rate to single digit to take burden off the consumers, besides reducing cost of production for the industry.

PIAF chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheik said that there should be low rate of sales tax while tax net should be broadening to achieve growth rate target. In a joint statement along with PIAF senior vice chairman Tanveer Sufi and vice chairman Shahzeb Akram, he noted that the prevailing rates of sales tax at 17 present in Pakistan is too high as compared to other countries in the region. He was of the view that the high rate is the root cause of tax evasion, corruption, thin tax base and smuggling.

“Increase in tax rate or higher tax ratio always discourages tax payers and also for new comer who want to get registered in the taxation system and on the other hand decrease in the tax ratio or lower tax rate always encourages tax payers and even for new entrants who want to be included in the tax net,” he added.

He appreciated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision for allowing zero rated regime to five export oriented sector, besides announcing incentive package of Rs180 billion to enhance export, hoping the decision would also be implemented at earliest.

Inconsistent and uncertainty among export trade and its supply chain induces corruption and hurt exports as can be witnessed from the fact that the exports are shrinking or stagnant for the last 3 years and it is apprehended that Pakistan will not be able to double textile exports from existing $13 billion to $26 billion per annum as envisaged in the new textile policy 2014-19, he added.