FBR officials directed to record all interactions during market visits

PM says revival of public trust in FBR will help broaden the tax net

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials to ensure on-the-spot recording of all official interactions during their visits to different markets.

Chairing a briefing on the performance of the FBR, the prime minister said elimination of corruption from the FBR and its reformation was among the top priorities of the government.

“The revival of public trust in the FBR would also help broaden the tax net,” he maintained.

Briefing the prime minister, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said the board had collected Rs579 billion in the first two months (July, August) of the current fiscal, an increase by 14.65pc when compared to the same period last year.

The number of filers has also increased by more than 783,000, from 1,514,817 in 2017 to 2,561,099 this year, he added.

Regarding measures being taken to revive public trust in FBR, Zaidi said all the processes, including registration, issuance of tax certificates, filing of tax returns and audit, were being automated to minimise the involvement of FRB officials.

In collaboration with NADRA, the FBR has launched a web portal to enable all individuals to get online access to their financial details that various institutions send to FBR, he added.

Zaidi said the effectiveness of online complaint resolution has also been enhanced to ensure immediate disposal of the complaints against the FBR officials.

Apprising the prime minister on the FBR’s steps to ensure ease of doing business, he said tax refunds worth Rs16 billion have been made while another Rs17 billion would be refunded by end of the current month.

The taxation system for shopkeepers and retailers is being eased while a mobile application ‘Tax Asaan’ has been launched to facilitate the taxpayers, he added.

The FBR chairman continued, “Tax forms have been translated into Urdu while the Urdu version of the FBR website would also be launched soon. The active taxpayers’ list is regularly updated to avoid any difficulty to the filers.”

Regarding trade facilitation, he said the export sector was being facilitated through the ‘Easy Export’ scheme. “Scanners have been installed at various custom stations while customs facility is available round the clock at the Torkham border. Customs’ operations at Kartarpur Corridor would start within the next few weeks.”

Zaidi told the prime minister that the FBR teams were visiting the markets to aware the people on matters pertaining to online registration of imported mobile phones, currency declaration system at airports and advance passengers information system.

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