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Taxpayers, the real VIPs in Pakistan: PM Imran

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday while regretting gnawing chasm between the toiling masses and the elite club, called for according the highest regard to regular tax-payers who were contributing for the country’s development.

Addressing an awards distribution ceremony among the top tax-payers as chief guest, he said the government would ensure that their taxes would not be spent on the extravagance of the ruling elite.

He said through reforms in the relevant departments, the government could collect about Rs 8,000 billion in taxes.

The PM noted that those persons who contributed to the country’s development with their taxes, deserved a ‘VIP’ treatment.

Terming change in the mindset to pay taxes as vital for getting out of the financial woes, he warned if such a mindset was not changed, the country’s situation would become murkier in future.

He referred to the deficit faced by the gas companies and said the banks were not ready to extend further loans to these entities, so the price of utility had to be increased.

He called for collective contributions to ward off difficulties for the general public.

The Prime Minister expressed his dismay that out of 200 million population, only 1.7 million were the tax-payers and such amount could not bear the burden of the whole population. Moreover, only 72,000 people had declared their earning of Rs 0.2 million per month.

He said the majority of the tax amount was collected through indirect taxes, levied on things affecting the common man, which in his view was ‘a great injustice’.

Appreciating the role of tax-payers, he said in the Scandinavian countries rich people contributed fifty percent in their GDP with regular payment of taxes. They knew it very well that their tax money would be spent judiciously and trickle down to the lower strata of society without ending on the rulers, he added.

The premier said the state of Madina had laid down the concepts of equitable distribution of wealth among the people.

He said the progressive tax system adopted by the European countries was based upon this system.

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