ISLAMABAD, Jul 24: Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Friday emphasized on the importance of revenue generation in national development and urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials to make all-out efforts for achieving this year’s revenue target.
Addressing the Chief Commissioner’s Conference here, he appreciated FBR’s performance despite challenges of reduced oil prices, drop in commodity prices and low inflation faced by it during last fiscal year.
The increased its revenue collection by 33% and raised the tax to GDP ratio to 9.45% from 8.4% in last two years, which was commendable, he added. The minister said that simplification of procedures for filing tax returns was important to facilitate and encourage prospective tax payers and expanding the tax net.
“We need to focus on this aspect as much as possible,” he added.
He also dilated on the economic turnaround achieved by the present government.
He said that the government through a sustained reforms process had proved all economic pundits wrong, who had predicted that Pakistan’s default was imminent.
International rating agencies, he said, were now appreciating Pakistan’s economic performance and international financing institutions had been re-engaged.
He said that Pakistan of 2015 was completely different from that of 2013. “From being a merely two tranche country we have come all the way and undertaken seven reviews with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”
The 8th review with IMF , he added, would commence in a week’s time.
The minister said, “We wish to consolidate our economic gains and move forward towards the goal of economic prosperity.”
He said that the country’s all political parties should unite on the Charter of Economy which he had been advocating from time to time.
“We should rise above all other considerations for economic good of the country,” he added.
Earlier, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa, in his welcome address, gave an overview of the Bureau’s performance. Individual presentations were made by Member (Inland Revenue Operations), Member (Legal), Member (Taxpayer Audit), Member (Counting), Member (IT) and Member (FATE).
The focus of this conference was to learn from last year’s experience and devise a strategy for current financial year.
The issues like handling of court cases, broadening of tax base, effective utilization of data, facilitation and education of taxpayers, motivation of FBR’s workforce, increasing numbers of tax filers, making sales tax registration easier and localized were thoroughly discussed.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Division, Haroon Akhtar, and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also attended the conference.