Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar directs FBR to up its game 

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ISLAMABAD: The Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development Dr Shamshad Akhtar chaired a meeting here on Wednesday to review the performance of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the current Financial Year (2017-2018).

FBR Chairman Tariq Mehmood Pasha, felicitated the Minister on assuming her new responsibilities and gave a detailed presentation on the measures so far being taken by the Federal Board of Revenue to achieve the tax collection targets, the major steps taken by FBR to facilitate the taxpayers and the key achievements of FBR during the last five year’s period.

The Chairman briefed the Minister that the tax to GDP ratio has increased from 8.7 per cent in 2012-13 to 12.4 per cent of GDP in 2017-18. He told that the number of tax return filers have almost doubled to 1.4 million till 2017-18 and worth Rs300 billion of SROs have been eliminated as a major reform to broaden the tax system.

He also said that for the facilitation of the taxpayers their CNIC has been adopted as the National Tax Number (NTN) and the number of tax slabs has been reduced to 4 from 7. He also mentioned the queue management system for the Sales Tax Refund and direct transfer of sales tax refunds into tax payer’s accounts as major reforms to upgrade the tax system in the country.

The Minister, during the meeting, discussed the overall macroeconomic condition of the country and the importance of FBR as the major revenue generation source for the Government’s operations. The Minister stressed the need to improve Tax to GDP ratio of the country to fund the development projects. She also sought the feedback from the FBR chief on the impact of different amnesty schemes and tax rebates offered by the previous government on the revenue collection targets.

The Minister also stressed the need for the up-gradation of the tax system through the use of technology. After the meeting, the Minister directed Chairman FBR to make all possible effort to achieve the revenue collection targets this year. The Chairman assured the Minister of his all possible cooperation on the matter.

The meeting was attended by senior officers from the Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue.