Karachi: Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President FPCCI, has stated that all businesses should pay taxes and small traders should register with FBR under its Tajir Dost Scheme (TDS). He expressed his satisfaction that, despite some initial teething problems, 22,000 small traders have registered under FBR-TDS so far.

It is pertinent to note that FPCCI hosted a high-profile and well-attended session of small traders with both the Chief Commissioners of Karachi regions, i.e. RTO I & RTO II with Mr. Naeem Mir, Chief Coordinator of FBR Tajir Dost Scheme, to establish better understanding, coordination and liaison between FBR and small traders.

Mr. Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, reiterated FPCCI’s stance that FBR needs to expand tax-net and simplify the taxation system to improve tax-to-GDP ratio; instead of further squeezing the existing taxpayers. However, the process should be in consultation with the business community; should be fair & transparent and undertaken in a business-friendly manner, he added.

Mr. Saquib Fayyaz Magoon stressed that Pakistan’s tax-to-GDP ratio stands poorly at 9 percent while the regional and sub-regional countries have achieved that ratio in the range of 16 – 18 percent. He proposed that FBR should not impose tax on retailers on turnover basis; but, there should be a fixed tax. Any imposition on turnover basis will negatively affect the acceptance or registration rate and threaten the dynamics of established business practices.

Mr. Aman Paracha, VP FPCCI, maintained that terms & conditions of taxing the traders should be made clear sooner than later to alleviate concerns and apprehensions to take the registration process further. If traders are confident that registering with tax machinery is in their own interest and business benefit, FBR-TDS can be huge success.

Mr. Naeem Mir, Chief Coordinator of FBR Tajir Dost Scheme, highlighted that the authorities are well aware that small traders cannot afford an accountant or a lawyer to file taxes through prescribed method of FBR. Therefore, FBR has come up with a Tajir Dost mechanism. He apprised that, in a short span of time, 22,000 small traders have registered in Tajir Dost Scheme; which is a testimony that they are willing to register.

Mr. Abdul Rehman Khan, Convener of FPCCI’s Sindh Regional Standing Committee on Small Traders, stated that Karachi is the business and commercial hub of the country – and, giving its traders an opportunity to interact with senior officials of FBR from the apex platform of FPCCI will create awareness on a mass-scale.

Dr. Muhammad Sarmad Qureshi, Chief Commissioner of Regional Tax Office – I (Karachi) and Ms. Hina Akram, Chief Commissioner of Regional Tax Office – II (Karachi) answered the queries of the traders in detail on the spot.