Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "We appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for motivating and encouraging citizens to pay their taxes regularly. This honesty will generate revenues that the government would like to use for less well-off people": this is what Fr. Richard D'Souza, a senior priest of the Archdiocese of Karachi, says to Agenzia Fides, commenting on the recent appeals by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is urging businessmen, industrialists and all citizens not to evade taxes. "Of course the executive should ensure that the money will be used for the poor and needy in the country", he adds, recalling the scourge of corruption: "If there are corrupt employees in the office of the Federal Revenue Council, strict measures must be taken against them". The priest continues: "Paying taxes will surely help our beloved country to flourish. Every businessman or industrialist must be honest in paying taxes. But at the same time the honesty of the government office is necessary".
Prime Minister Imran Khan is meeting businessmen, merchants and industrialists these days in various cities of Pakistan to listen to their concerns about the tax system, urging them to "contribute to the prosperity of the country".
In a meeting held at the Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce on 17 July, Imran Khan, addressing the participants, said: "We must change the mentality because the country can no longer function according to old methods. It is very important to expand the tax network. In the past people had horrible experiences at the Federal Revenue Council. Now the Office has been reformed and we hope everything works well". The Prime Minister continued: "We do not have enough financial resources to guarantee schools, universities and hospitals", which are all services that the state can guarantee thanks to a fair tax system. "In developed countries - the Prime Minister said in another speech on TV - the money collected through taxes is spent for the well-being of the people and this is the reason why the government has faith in the people of Pakistan so that this leads them to contribute regularly".
Rasheed Gill, a Catholic and well-known human rights activist, told Fides: "Over 50% of the Pakistani population lives below the poverty line. The government should work to get the right tax contribution from industries, factories and businesses, adopting appropriate measures and proportionate according to the levels of income". Gill concludes: "We are waiting for the executive to actually work for the welfare of the poor. Many people work with low wages, while companies that underpay employees should be urged to pay the minimum wage set by the government". (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 19/7/2019)