* Pakistan Super League becoming a major source of income for PCB
* Revolutionary change is required in the whole taxation system
* Effective, efficient ERP Systems must for aviation sector growth
Interview with Mr Ahmad Suleman Zahid – Director, Corporate General Solutions (Pvt) Limited
PAGE: Tell me something brief about yourself, please:
Ahmad Suleman Zahid: I am Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and Fellow Member of Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants (PIPFA). Currently I am serving as Partner of Zahid Jamil & Co, Chartered Accountants, which is a Member Firm of Prime Global in Pakistan, and Director in Corporate General Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, Management & Information Systems Consultants. Apart from Professional Activities, I am also serving as; President of ICAP Toastmasters Club Faisalabad for year 2021-22, Member CPD & Publication Committee of PIPFA, Member Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman Standing Committee on Accounts & Finance and Vice Chairman Standing Committee on Education & Career Counselling of Sheikh Foundation Faisalabad and Executive Member of Faisalabad IT Companies Organisation (FITCO).
PAGE: What is your perspective about Audit and Business Process Re-Engineering of Hospitality and Tourism Industry of Pakistan?
Ahmad Suleman Zahid: There is huge potential for the growth of hospitality and tourism industry in Pakistan. In January 2020, travel magazine Conde Nast named Pakistan as its number one travel destination for 2020. The same year, the British Backpacker Society had also ranked the country as the number one travel destination in the world. Pakistan was one of the top 10 under-the-radar travel destinations for 2020, according to an article published by Forbes. Alhamdulillah this industry is growing in Pakistan but growth rate is slow due to the lack of Professionalism, Education & Training and Corporate Culture in this Industry. In future demand for Statutory Audits, Internal Audits & System Control Review and Business Process Re-engineering Services will increase with improvement of Professionalism, Education & Training and Corporate Culture in this industry. Ultimately demand for Professional Accountants and Management Consultants will also increase in this industry.
PAGE: What are your views about ERP for the Aviation Sector?
Ahmad Suleman Zahid: ERP is also a value-added service, like Internal Audit & BPR, for every Business Organization. It helps strategic or top-level management of every organization in planning effective utilization of its human, financial, material and machine resources. It ultimately helps in effective decision making and performance management for short term and long-term profitability and growth of every organization.
Aviation is one of most important industries in the world because of its globalized nature, helping to connect different continents, countries and cultures. Aviation Industry comprises of airlines, aircraft manufacturers, researchers, air safety specialists, businesses involved with military aviation and companies that design, produce and make use of drones etc. Huge global investment is involved in this industry and assets & operations are geographically disbursed. It is almost impossible, nowadays, to plan and organize effective utilization of all resources of various businesses, in this industry, and make these profitable and sustainable in the long run, without effective and efficient ERP Systems.
PAGE: Could you share your opinion on Business Planning & Feasibility Study about the upcoming Pakistan Super League Cricket Season?
Ahmad Suleman Zahid: Effective Feasibility Study and Business Planning is essential for success of every new investment decision and exiting businesses as well. Pakistan Super League has become a major source of income for Pakistan Cricket Board. Investors of all teams participating in this league treat this tournament as business and not any philanthropy activity. Every wise businessman never takes any new business investment decision before performing its feasibility study from all aspects i.e., technical, marketing and financial feasibility aspects. Every year new teams are being introduced by new investors and prospective investors will definitely invest if they will find this venture, from all aspect, based on comprehensive feasibility study. PCB and existing teams’ investors must have prepared comprehensive business plans for success in their respective business ventures.
PAGE: How do you see the Taxation System in Pakistan?
Ahmad Suleman Zahid: Revenue from Taxation is most important component of Fiscal Policy of every country. Most of the developed countries in the world have much reliance on strong, effective, efficient reliable and fool proof Taxation Systems in federal and provincial governments as well. Information Technology has played vital role to strengthen taxation system in these countries.
Information Technology is driving taxpayers to change their business models, their approach to paying tax, and their relationship with the tax collecting agencies. IT is also enabling tax administrations to modernize the ways they administer the tax system and their interactions with taxpayers. Like our economy, our country’s taxation systems, of federal government and provincial governments as well, is still developing and is under evolution stage. Taxation policies are not consistent and taxation related laws & regulations are frequently changed many times within a fiscal year.
Tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan is low, as compared to this ratio in developed countries, due low collection of taxes in Pakistan. There large is percentage of tax payers and non-filers of tax returns who are liable to be tax payer and filers of tax returns. Instead of increasing in new taxpayers, federal and provincial governments are increasing tax rates and imposing new taxes on existing tax payers. Cost doing business, of existing tax payers, is increasing day by day. Consumers of goods and services have to bear ultimate burden of all these taxes. A revolutionary change is required in the whole taxation system, both at federal and provincial level, with the help of international and local economists and taxation experts.
The focus should be more on Direct Taxes rather than indirect taxes e.g., Wealth Tax was good source of revenue, for federal government in past, which was abolished in past through Finance Act 2003. This tax can be introduced again in order to give public relief from Indirect Taxes like Sales Tax, Federal Excise Duty and Custom Duty etc.