Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry have asked the Government to withdraw super tax which has become a nuisance for the foreign investors. The OICCI also demands government to stop their double talk on the matters of super tax.
Super Tax was imposed by Government on affluent individuals and banks after the launch of Zarb-e-Azab operation. The Government argued that the tax would help rehabilitate the internally displaced persons in the wake of military operation. But the tax was only meant to be for the year 2014-15 however it has not been abolished ever since. OICCI sees this as a measure contrary to Government’s promises.
“Two years ago, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured me that the super tax had been imposed only for one year,” said Abdul Aleem, OICCI Secretary General. There has been no action ever since. He said that government should either impose this tax across the board or withdraw it immediately.
He further reiterated the government had been giving false hopes to the members for the past year which has led to a deepening of mistrust. Citing Government’s retreat to abolish the tax, he said that this was one of the main reasons of declining confidence in Pakistan.
After the said levy was imposed, the corporations were paying 34% income tax as opposed to 31% as claimed by the Government. Abdul Aleem also said that Government was not paying attention to the OICCI as it was the largest contributor to the government’s tax revenues. He said that OICCI members contributed to almost one third of total tax collection and 18% of the national output.
In addition to this, government has not delivered key promises of their campaign amongst which the most pivotal were energy sustainability, security and tax policies. These false hopes and failed promises have decline the business confidence in Pakistan for the last 6 month in comparison to the highest business confidence levels recorded in April, 2016.
According to a periodic survey carried out by OICCI this year, business confidence has increased in services sectors where confidence in both manufacturing and retail has declined substantially. The factors which have led to these declines are the low numbers of Foreign Direct Investment which stood at 1% of the GDP; the report stated that in order to achieve the targeted growth, the country needs FDI of at least 3% of the GDP.