Hafeez Shaikh urges FBR to strive for optimal resource mobilisation

'Robust communication with public and stakeholders should be at the centre of every activity undertaken by FBR'

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to aggressively follow up on its agreement with the traders.

During a visit to the FBR House, he urged the officials to expand the tax base, work optimally to enrol nearly 20,000 points of sales in the country, grant timely and full payment of tax refunds and draw up and pursue a futuristic work-plan using modern communication tools to achieve organisational targets and goals in an ongoing manner.

“An efficient and robust communication with the public and stakeholders should be at the centre of every activity undertaken by FBR, as that would harness public support for its efforts to broaden the tax base and promote a tax-compliant culture in the country,” he said.

Earlier, the FBR chairman informed the adviser that the revenue board had registered 16.3pc revenue growth by provisionally collecting Rs2,083.2 billion between July-December 2019, netting Rs292.3 billion more than the revenue collected during the corresponding period of last year.

The board received more than 2.1 million tax returns by Dec 31, 2019, he said, adding that at least 600,000 more people were likely to submit their returns till January 31st, 2020.

The chairman also dilated on the domestic tax collection which had grown significantly, showing 21pc growth in domestic income tax, 34pc in domestic sales tax and 25.6pc in domestic federal excise duty, raising the share of domestic revenue to Rs1,172 billion in the overall tax collection, as against Rs934.5 billion in the corresponding period of FY18.

Shabbar Zaidi claimed that the FBR had doubled its focus on taxpayer facilitation and automation of processes, adding that all matters regarding the interaction of taxpayers with the department, including registration, issuance of certificates, returning filing, audit and monitoring, were fully automated. 

“FBR has given away tax refunds worth Rs100 billion to the taxpayers in 2019 as against Rs36 billion refunds given in 2018,” he added.

The adviser lauded the FBR chairman and his team for a commendable performance and asked them to redouble their efforts for an optimal revenue collection in view of the current economic condition of the country, where the people were looking more towards FBR because each dollar not earned by the revenue authority would have to be borrowed from somewhere else, affecting the future choices of the country.

He also advised the FBR management to follow an integrated media and communication plan, using all modern tools of information and expertise of top-level service and content providers in the market, to communicate with the public and share with them on a consistent basis the results of efforts on revenue collection and tax facilitation.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said all his support was available to the FBR team for their honest work and he hoped that the revenue collection arm of the government would not disappoint the nation and work harder to fulfil the expectations of the prime minister.

The FBR chairman said that he had appointed five new complaint commissioners for the redress of complaints and by March 2020, many of the pending cases would be resolved. He also committed to providing results of their sector-wise collection and progress on new initiatives and implementation of reforms to the adviser by next week.

 

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