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Stimulate economy first

Oct 09,2018 - Last updated at Oct 09,2018

The talk of the town on the draft income tax legislation untill now has been anything but conclusive. The government of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz has tried to familiarise the country with the new law and pressed the public to get acquainted with it and pronounce themselves on it.

The pulse of the country on the law remains mostly negative because the new version did not seem much different, if any, from the rejected law. This means that the majority of the people are not about to accept only cosmetic changes as the main thrust of the existing legislation is what they want to change.

Under the circumstances, the only right thing to do is to scrap the old law and start anew on the basis of different guidelines which take into account the legitimate concerns of the public. For starters, the people do not want any additional taxes under whatever title or justification. The people also reject existing high taxes, regardless of the excuses offered by the government.

For the most part, most of the people who voiced their opinion on the draft income tax law want to put the cart before the horse. In other words, the public want a stimulus to the economy by first lowering taxes across the board because that is what all nations which find themselves in our predicament do.

The government must stop going in circles and adopt a clear policy on how to improve the economy by inter alia increasing public and business confidence and then slowly introducing a new network of taxes that do not frustrate this confidence or nip it in the bud.

This much the government has yet to do to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. In other words, now is the time to add strength to the lagging economy and not to add. That would be the right way to go about taxes and the sooner the government recognises this perspective the better for all concerned.

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