THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Tax Concessions and Investment Behaviour
The Government of Pakistan, like many other developing countries, has opted for tax holidays as an important fiscal measure to encourage rapid industrialisation in the backward areas. This concession is also supplemented by several other economic and non-economic measures including import duty, and depreciation allowances. Mintz (1990) discusses the efficacy of tax holidays in the presence of accelerated depreciation allowances concludes that tax holidays which are designed to increase capital formation may end up penalising capital formation. Mintz’s (1990) conclusion is based on the assumption that if the assets are long-lived, and the income tax system allows deductibility of accelerated depreciation but cannot be deferred, then the tax holidays, by preventing depreciation deduction in the early period may actually penalise investment during the tax holiday period. If on the other hand the depreciation allowance is deferred till the end of tax holiday period, the tax system is genuinely generous and provides a real incentive for capital formation.