ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has hailed a four-year tax amnesty scheme announced by the prime minister for traders.

ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh, Senior Vice President Sheikh Pervez and Vice President Abdul Waheed said that one of the main reasons of tax evasion in Pakistan was a complicated tax system which discouraged many potential taxpayers from coming into the tax net, said a press release issued here on Friday.

ICCI president Sheikh said that the scheme was a good measure for broadening the tax net because it would ensure tax contribution by many new taxpayers. He said the scheme of regularizing undeclared working capital of up to Rs50 million at the rate of one percent tax was also good in the sense that it would discourage unhealthy trends like money laundering and whitening money through havala etc.

He said that currently there were hardly one million taxpayers out of a population of over 190 million and this scheme was expected to bring millions of new taxpayers into the tax net leading to improvement in country’s tax-to-GDP ratio.

He said that another good advantage of this scheme was that the traders availing themselves of it would be exempted from audit for four years and stressed that non-filers should take maximum benefit of this scheme by paying tax dues.