Egalitarians – The Economics Society at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) organized an interactive session titled, “Tax Math – Understanding the Tax Conundrum”. It was held at the EMEC, IoBM on November 12, 2019. Mr. Anwar Kashif Mumtaz, Advocate Supreme Court; Mr. Zafar Rafique Siddique, Commissioner, Inland Revenue, Karachi and Dr. Aqdas Afzal, Assistant Professor and Interim Program Director, Habib University, Qamar Usman, Advisor to Taxation Sub-Committee at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Shahida Wizarat, Dean CESD, IoBM were invited as guest panelists. IoBM’s HoDs, faculty, staff and students were also present on this occasion.
The panelists discussed the post 18th amendment provincial revenue reforms. This session deliberated upon the impact of taxation on different social classes and industries in Sindh, which generates the highest tax revenue among all the provinces of Pakistan. The esteemed panelists debated upon the provincial tax responsibilities and its effect on the province. They highlighted the need to rebuild the local government structure. During the discussion, one point regarding the decentralization of the province was raised without the release of the central power of the federal tier. The guests observed that policymakers need to harmonize with business practices. The challenges facing Sindh with respect to the post 18th amendment provincial revenue reforms included lack of capacity in spending money and that system intricacies create problems.
The guests addressed the need to revise the NFC awards. They reflected on the local government’s need for autonomy and its members to be elected. The panel also called for a gradual change in the mass perception of paying taxes and that all actions taken by an individual and companies must be verified and documented. Some of the solutions that the guests presented to solve tax problems were the need to widen our tax net by simplifying tax return procedures. It also included focusing on long-term investment and development and utilizing our resources and negotiating wisely with foreign investors.
This interactive session was a success because the office bearers of the Egalitarians received guidance and support from their faculty advisor, Muhammad Zubair, Assistant Professor, Economics Department, IoBM. The faculty and students who attended this session learned valuable insights into how the tax structure works.