THE shortfall in government land sales, combined with lower share transfers, is increasing pressure on the Hong Kong Government to consider raising taxes from other sources, according to accountants Price Waterhouse. The firm's taxation head, Rod Houng-Lee, said: 'Given both the property and stock markets are not buoyant, the Government is facing some pressure to introduce sales tax or a more indirect tax.' He believed that now was not the time for a sales tax, as Hong Kong's position was threatened by the high costs of doing business. A recent Price Waterhouse survey of regional taxation shows that Hong Kong is competitive in terms of the tax cost of doing business in the region, but not so competitive regarding other costs, such as the relatively high cost of employing senior expatriate managers. 'The Government needs to be careful not to give way to pressures from the merchants of doom, since we currently have $100 billion extra in reserves to see us through any short-term downturn,' he said. Neither business nor residents would benefit from radical change to the tax system at this stage, Mr Houng-Lee said. The firm saw no need to introduce indirect tax, but it believed Sir Hamish Macleod should continue to take measures against tax evasion. The company also felt no new legislation was necessary in areas such as service companies, where the existing rules could be enforced more efficiently to eliminate blatant abuses.