The prime minister, who was addressing a press conference at the Governor House in Karachi, said, “I appeal to everyone. It’s time to change our mindset. The segments of the society who don’t pay taxes [need to realise their importance]. Let’s contribute together.”
The remarks came after reports that groups of traders, business owners and transport operators had decided to go on strike against the tax measures taken in the federal budget for 2019-20.
“We are 210 million people; our small contributions will make a big difference. The tax target [Rs5.5 trillion] is nothing — we can collect at least Rs8 trillion.”
“Everyone should pay taxes. [Currently,] only 1pc Pakistanis pay taxes and the country can’t run like this.”
Talking about the reasons behind the current economic conditions, he said the government had inherited a debt burden worth Rs30 trillion. He said that the country was in a debt trap where the government had to take more loans just to pay back interest on past loans.