Senior Advisor to the Federal Tax Ombudsman Sarwat Tahira Habib has said that the business community is the backbone of the economy and the FTO would play a role for resolving their key issues to facilitate them in development of business and economic activities. She said that FTO was enhancing its outreach to the business community by visiting various chambers of commerce & industry of the country to know about the key issues of taxpayers so that they could be taken up with FBR for redress. She said this while interacting with the representatives of traders and industrialists during her visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). Sarwat Tahira Habib said that due to the efforts of the FTO, many cases were settled in favour of taxpayers, which showed its important role for the facilitation of the business community. She said that FTO was working to investigate, diagnose, redress and rectify maladministration of tax functionaries and taxpayers should bring maximum cases to FTO so that efforts could be made for their resolution. She informed the participants that the Hon’ble FTO provided complete assurance for the complainants’ safety against any reaction by the tax authorities or reopening of their cases. She gave a detailed account of some of the bigger cases and prompt action taken by Hon’ble FTO Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah, i.e. sales tax on booking of cars, cases of Telenor, Shahkam Industry and Ajwa Foods. She said that ICCI should send a copy of its budget proposals to FTO that would be forwarded to FBR for consideration during the budget making process. Speaking at the occasion, ICCI President Muhammad Shakeel Munir highlighted various tax related issues of the business community that needed the cooperation of FTO for their better solution. He said that high tax rates were not conducive to promote tax culture and stressed that the government should reduce tax rates to broaden tax base and improve tax revenue. He said that various tax rates on services in federation and provinces like 16 percent sales tax in Islamabad and 5 percent ST in Punjab on the same service were creating tax disparities and emphasized that the government should introduce uniform tax rates across the country to address such tax anomalies. ICCI Senior Vice President Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh and Vice President Muhammad Faheem Khan said that high taxes always promoted tax evasion and the government should rationalize tax rates to make them affordable for taxpayers that would also increase tax revenue of the country. The representatives of markets and industries including Hamayun Kabir, Akhtar Hussain, Faseeh Ullah Khan, Ali Akram Khan, Ch Muhammad Ali, Naeem Siddiqui, Ashfaq Hussain Chatha, Ahmad Khan, Dildar Abbasi, Ms. Parveen Khan, Neelam Khalid and others also highlighted various tax related issues and stressed that FTO should take up them with FBR for redress.