Karachi: Sindh Finance Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged the American Business Council (ABC) to share recommendations to ease hardships of existing taxpayers and assured that ABC input would be used in the formulation of provincial budget FY16-17.
Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Chairman Sindh Revenue Board (SRB), Tashfeen Khalid Niaz were invited by ABC, the largest single country investor group in Pakistan, to its quarterly CEO roundtable meeting to candidly discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by their companies.
The Minister and Chairman SRB informed ABC that the Sindh Government is taking concrete steps to formulate business friendly policies, improve the law and order situation and undertake infrastructure development projects. The Minister shared details of various infrastructure, energy, waste management and transport projects that were planned for the city.
Upon hearing the concerns expressed by members on the increasing cost of doing business in Sindh on account of various levies and taxes including the sales tax on services, the Provincial Minister and SRB Chairman urged participants to share their views to improve the business environment in the province.
“The provincial government needs to formulate long term, strong, efficient and business friendly policies and share the roadmap of its strategy to simplify the taxation structure and improve Karachi’s infrastructure which will encourage the business community to expand and invest further,” stated ABC President, Nadeem Elahi.
“The ABC is encouraged to hear about the planned infrastructure projects and is pleased that the Sindh government will consider taxpayer feedback to simplify the taxation structure. It is critical for tax authorities to facilitate taxpayer, rather than creating hardship in compliance. The tax allocation should be done by the revenue authorities without creating hardship for the taxpayers,” he added.
ABC members were of the view that while there had been some improvement in the city’s security in recent months, further progress was required to change overall investor perception. They also urged the Sindh government to prioritize development and infrastructure projects within Karachi as concrete progress on this front would lead to a drastic improvement in the overall business environment.
The ABC with 68 members is the largest single country investor group in Pakistan and most of them represent Fortune 500 companies.