ISLAMABAD-The business community has demanded of the government to abolish the mandatory CNIC condition for transactions of Rs50,000/- and above in the next budget as it has created lot of problems for them in running business activities smoothly.

Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that government has made mandatory for citizens to show CNIC on making purchases of Rs.50,000/- and above from a sales tax registered person, but this condition has proved quite problematic. He said that keeping in view the current difficult conditions for businesses caused by the Covid-19, government should either completely abolish CNIC condition or increase the limit of transactions for showing CNIC from Rs50,000/- to Rs200,000/- that would provide sufficient relief to businessmen.

He said that the impact of Covid-19 has caused huge losses to businesses due to which were fighting for their survival. This situation that government should come up with more relief measures to business community in the next budget so that they could be able to revive business activities. He said that in the prevailing circumstances, it would not be possible for government to broaden tax base and stressed that instead of putting more burden on existing taxpayers, government should facilitate them through budgetary measures that would also improve tax revenue for the government.

ICCI President said that government should defer random audit of taxpayers for next few years and accept their tax returns as they have been submitted. He said that those cases selected for random audit should also be deferred and their tax returns should be accepted. He said that at a time when businessmen were struggling to keep their businesses in running mode, government should take strong measures to create conducive environment for business activities instead of focusing on improving tax revenue. He said that tax revenue was directly linked with growth of businesses and promoting businesses should be the first priority of government that would automatically improve its tax revenue as well.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed Said that the current taxation system was quite complicated and cumbersome that was encouraging tax evasion instead of promoting tax culture. He urged that government should focus on developing a fair, transparent, business friendly and easy for compliance tax regime that should play role in boosting business activities instead of burdening existing taxpayers with more taxes.