Dar for realistic recommendations to broaden tax net

ISLAMABAD (INP): Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar has said that high hopes were pinned on the newly formed Tax Reforms Commission to suggest measures for ensuring equitable taxation as well as enhancement in tax to GDP ratio.

The Minister stated this while chairing the inaugural meeting of the Tax Reforms Commission at FBR Headquarters Saturday morning. He said that members of the Commission may finalize their proposals on priority so that these could be shared with all the stakeholders, prior to placing them before the parliament and incorporation in the next budget. He urged the members of the Commission to come up with realistic recommendations the hallmark of which should be facilitation of tax payers and a client-friendly system which is completely transparent.

He said there was broad-based representation in the Commission; both houses of the parliament, the business community, professionals, Chambers of Commerce & Industry and the civil society were all covered with a view to chalk out a comprehensive plan to revamp the revenue collection system.

Dar said that when the PML-N Government took over, there were forecasts of a total collapse of the economy by 30th June 2014 but from day one we took austerity measures and cut down on expenditure by at least 30%, clamped down hard on culture of concessions and SROs, introduced reforms and the result is the economic turn around which is being internationally recognized. Our improved economic outlook has been acknowledged by international rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s while Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’ Neill and BBC have predicted that Pakistan would become world’s 18th largest economy by 2050 from its current 44th position.

Drawing attention of members of the Commission to tax reforms again, the Minister said we wish to promote tax culture in the country, broaden the tax net and ensure improvement in tax to GDP ratio. He also called upon the Commission to put forth suggestions for devising a proper appellate system to effectively dispose of litigation cases. The litmus test of the recommendations would be the implementation in the short run and increase in the revenue in the medium term, he said.

 

Chairman, Tax Reforms Commission, Syed Masood Ali Naqvi briefed the members about mandate of the Commission. He said if the members could come up with practicable recommendations, they would be making their due contribution to development of economy. He said the Tax Reforms Commission constituted by the Government was a professional forum and would aim at revamping the Tax System as a whole and look for inclusive economic growth.

Chairman FBR, Tariq Bajwa on this occasion gave a presentation to the Finance Minister and Members of the Commission on the current state of tax collection and the issues being faced by the FBR in this regard. He also dilated in detail on the administrative and policy reforms introduced by the FBR.

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