ISLAMABAD - Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Abdullah Yusuf, has said that government intends to gradually bring down tax tariffs and widen the tax net. He was addressing a pre-budget seminar titled 'Striving towards more equitable Pakistan' held here Tuesday. The seminar, organized by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Pakistan (ACCA), was also addressed by Ghalib Nishtar, President Khushhali Bank, Furqan Ahmad Salim, Financial Management Specialist at the World Bank and Dr Afra Sajjad, head of education and policy development, ACCA. Yusuf maintained that government from the past few years was persistently lowering down tariffs and decreasing number of taxes besides introducing fairness in taxation system. He said the same would help not only in broadening the tax net but would also attract foreign investments in various industrial and social sectors of the country. FBR Chairman also stressed the need for ensuring food and energy security for the sustainable development of the country. "Pakistan's economy is growing at the fastest rate of 7% for the past few years, but the real development could only be ensured by maintaining it for some longer periods of time", he said, adding that the worst food and energy crises prevailing worldwide was devouring up world economies, especially those of the developing countries. He informed Pakistan was paying US $ 11 billion per annum under the head of petroleum bill despite satisfying 50% of the energy requirements from domestic resources. He called for early exploitation of potential energy resources to coup with the budget deficits and disturbed balance of payments. He regretted over not being exploited the world's forth-largest coal deposits in Thar district. He said the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country were strong while issues like fiscal deficit and inflation do persisted, which the government was struggling to sort out. Dr Afra in her opening remarks outlined various budget proposals submitted by ACCA relating to sustainable industrial growth and attracting foreign investment. She wailed over the fact that over 70% of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) collapsed during the first two years of their inception. She demanded the government for giving the same an exceptional status, at least for the first two years period of their inception. She suggested abolishment of withholding tax, merging sales tax and federal excise into single 'capital value tax' and imposition of tax on capital gains raised from the real estates. President Khushhali Bank presented budget proposals of the business community while Ms Zeenat Ayesha outlined budget proposals relating to exports focusing on the problems faced by SMEs. Chairman FBR hailed the practice of conducting pre-budget seminars and said the same greatly helped the government in formulating policies in light of the public demands and wishes. He also hailed efforts of the ACCA for conducting pre-budget seminars for the three consecutive years.