LAHORE: Taxpayers must avail online collection for taxes and duties that will provide relief and convenience to the business community.

“Newly-launched system of online tax payment will enable the taxpayers to pay income tax, sales tax, customs duties and federal excise duties without any hassle of going to banks or certain offices. Concerned departments and private sector should join hands to make this system successful.”

This was upshot of the speeches delivered at a seminar on “online collection of government taxes and duties” organized by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the State Bank of Pakistan. LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed, Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Additional Chief Manager, State Bank of Pakistan Ansar Iftikhar Butt and Additional Collector Customs Rashid Munir were prominent amongst the others.

The experts said that the business community should take full advantage of the system and pay their taxes and duties by using online facility that would save their precious time. They said that success of online system would establish friendly relations between the taxpayers and tax collectors besides improving Pakistan’s international ranking in the ease of doing business index. The speakers said the system of online tax payment will certainly prove a positive step towards improving the ranking of Pakistan, especially in ‘paying taxes’ that is one of the 10 factors of ease of doing business.

According to the recently released World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2018 Report, Pakistan has slipped three places from its last year’s ranking of 144th, reaching 147th among 190 economies. Our ranking in ‘paying taxes’ is 172 which need to be improved to bring major turnaround in overall ranking, they said. “We must understand that international investors consider Ease of Doing Business ranking before making investment decisions in any country. Such a low ranking dents the image of Pakistan badly in the eyes of foreign investors and the government’s business friendly perception.

It is the joint responsibility of all the stakeholders of the economy to collaborate with each other to set the things in order,” they added.