KARACHI  - Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has said that the government has planned to focus on increasing income tax collection after significant rise in sales tax collection.

The government will bring into the tax-net everybody capable to pay taxes so that the country should not look towards international financial institutions eikh said while talking to media persons on the conclusion of a convocation at Aga Khan Medical University here on Saturday night.

He said that in 2008, total amount of the taxes collected was Rs 11,000 billion which was increased to Rs 22,300 billion in last fiscal year.

In the present financial year, he said, 21 per cent increase had been achieved in the tax collection.

He said that the country had a very low tax-to-GDP ratio as compared to many other countries, even in the region. The country has the culture of tax evasion which must be changed in the supreme national interest. Now, he said, “our target will be to increase income tax collection.” He said that the poor and low income people could not get fruit of any economic growth in the country in the past. That is why, he said, the PPP government initiated the Benazir Income Support Programme, which had benefitted around 3 million poor families.

The Finance Minister said that International Monetary Fund was playing an important role in the world and that Pakistan was engaged in dialogue with it, which was a continuous process.