ISLAMABAD (APP) - The economic experts of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) have urged the textile sector of the country to pay all its taxes accordingly in order to bridge the tax gap of Rs500 billion which remains uncollected every year. "The textile sector, which has made a habit of seeking concession citing export earnings, contributes merely around 1.5 percent of the tax revenues in gross terms while the net contribution of the sector is negative", the economists said in a pre-budget seminar organized by PIDE here. The experts said that the sectoral contribution of direct taxes is fairly skewed. Three sectors, namely oil and gas, financial and telecom together pay 43 per cent of the taxes. "Broadening of tax base as well as ensuring strict compliance from those who are currently liable to pay tax has become prerequisite to raise the tax revenues", the economists said and added that direct taxes constitute approximately 40 per cent of the total tax revenue. The economists said that collection from withholding taxes constitute 59 per cent of the total collection. Heavy reliance on withholding taxes reflects the inability of the tax machinery to collect direct taxes. "Moreover the behaviour of withholding taxes agents is also questionable and there are doubts whether all the amounts withheld are actually passed on to the tax authority", the experts said, adding that while people might be bearing the burden of tax in terms of deduction at-source and higher prices, the amount withheld by the agents may not end up in the government coffers. The economists further said that for the past couple of years there have been slippages in the achievements of the revenue target fixed for the year. The shortfall in revenue is becoming a norm despite the mid-year downward revisions. The budget makers in an effort to balance the numbers may, at times, treat the target as residual item (Revenue = Budgeted Expenditure + Targeted Fiscal Deficit). Experts believe that more effort should go into determining the revenue target and that target should be fixed keeping in view the actual collection in the preceding year and the changes expected in the economic environment in the next year, including of course all the proposed changes in the taxation regime.