Federal budget 2018-19 to be pro-poor, business friendly

Revenue collection increased by 70 to 75 pc during the incumbent govt's tenure

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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenues, Senator Haroon Akhtar Khan here on Tuesday said that budget 2018-19 would be pro-poor, business-friendly, and government would focus on the areas which were not covered properly during the previous years.

Talking to the media at an event by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he said that during the last five years, FBR had achieved landmark progress in many fields and introduced several measures to boost revenue collection in the country.

He said that revenue collection witnessed about 70 to 75 per cent growth during the period under review, adding that collections were doubled during last five years.

Whereas, he added that the tax collections witnessed about 20 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis, as the government had introduced several measures to enhance collections including broadening the tax base, bringing transparency, and modernising the infrastructure.

Steps were taken to facilitate the taxpayers and bridge the trust deficit among the taxpayers and tax collecting authorities and introduced universal self-assessment scheme, besides strengthening the existing laws.

Later, talking to the media, he said that the outstanding amount of tax refunds was recorded at Rs150 billion and the government would clear refunds of over 50 billion by the end of this fiscal year.

He said that tax targets set for fiscal year 2017-18 of Rs4,013 billion would be achieved.

He said that the government was planning to introduce a tax amnesty scheme which would help collect about $4 to $5 billion.

Speaking on the occasion, FBR Chairman Tariq Mehmood Pasha said that the facility would increase Pakistan’s ranking in ease of doing business, adding that automation of companies registration was also initiated in collaboration with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

Addressing the ceremony, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa said that the initiative would help enhance the efficiencies, bring transparency and technological advancement in tax collection system.