KARACHI – Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has assured foreign investors that no new taxes would be imposed in the next budget. Talking to members of Overseas Investors Chamber of Industry (OICCI) during his visit to the Chamber Monday, he said that after the NFC award, there has been a significant reduction in the federal government’s revenue share without a corresponding reduction in debt servicing or other necessary expenditure on defense, security and ongoing projects, adding that he now expected provinces to take a lead on new development projects.He was accompanied by Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Abdul Wajid Rana, Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue, Mumtaz Haider Rizvi, Member Inland Revenue, Shahid Hussain Asad and other senior FBR officials. Dr. Shaikh pointed out that despite the global meltdown and challenging business environment, Pakistan’s 3.7 per cent GDP growth during fiscal year 2011-2012 was comparable to growth rates across the region, excluding those in China and India. Further, he pointed out that the FBR had also been successful in generating 17 percent additional federal revenues in 2010-2011 that are expected to scale up further to 25 per cent in the current fiscal. In his briefing to the Minister, President, OICCI Humayun Bashir outlined the contribution of its membership in spurring economic growth and underscored that these numbers could be increased considerably if the government addressed key concerns such as security, energy shortage and ensure effective policy implementation. OICCI members raised important issues concerning the taxation structure in light of the upcoming budget, including loss of revenue accruing from the tax exempt sector and evasion in the form of rampant smuggling of consumer goods, especially under the garb of Afghan Transit Trade. Other taxation proposals forwarded to the government by OICCI focused on broadening of tax net through linkages of FBR databases with banks and other business centers Dr. Shaikh appreciated the suggestions which, he said, would be given due consideration in the run-up to the budget.