Tax reforms imperative for economic stability: PM

  • PM says if the tax collection authority cannot be fixed, he will create a new one

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that reforms in the Federal Bureau of Revenue are of utmost importance, otherwise the state would not be able to meet its expenses.

Address the 11th All-Pakistan Chambers President Conference in Islamabad, the PM said reforming FBR is high on his agenda, but warned that if the tax collection authority cannot be fixed, he will create a new one.

“We will try our best to fix FBR and I assure the business community that I’ve been holding regular meeting with Abdul Razzaq Dawood and Asad Umar on how to generate revenue and make FBR a business-friendly institute,” he stated.

He said Pakistan’s survival is linked to tax collection. “If our tax collection authority does not function properly, it could lead to a security risk. No nation that relies on loans can maintain its pride and independence,” he maintained.

The prime minister urged the nation to come into the tax net, adding that in return he would guarantee that their tax would not be misspent.

“I assure you that each and every penny of Pakistanis’ tax collection will be spent with great caution,” he said. “We will end all unnecessary expenses. But what I want from you is to tell the people that it is impossible for any country to succeed without paying their taxes. How can it be that of the 210 million Pakistanis only 72,000 declare monthly incomes of Rs200,000 or more?”

PM Imran said that effective tax collection is central to any country’s independence as “constant borrowing to make ends meet” eventually becomes a threat to its sovereignty.

He said he could even be open to slashing down taxes to extend the tax net but stressed that “paying taxes should be considered a national duty”.

The prime minister assured the business community that his government will do all it can to facilitate them, indicating that “some more incentives are coming your way in the upcoming days”.


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