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World Bank approves $518m for tax projects

Updated June 15, 2019

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The bank said in a statement that the $400m Pakistan Raises Revenue Project will support the FBR. — AFP/File
The bank said in a statement that the $400m Pakistan Raises Revenue Project will support the FBR. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Within days after the federal budget targeting Rs5.55 trillion in tax revenues for next fiscal year, the World Bank on Friday approved a package of $518 million for two projects in support of Pakistan’s ambitious efforts to raise revenue and reduce compliance cost to help providing better services to the people.

The bank said in a statement that the $400m Pakistan Raises Revenue Project will support the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) focus to create a sustainable increase in tax revenue. The project will assist in simplifying the tax regime and strengthening tax and customs administration.

It will also support the FBR with technology and digital infrastructure and technical skills. This will enable more effective use of taxpayer information and more targeted compliance. The government has set improving tax revenue with low compliance costs as a high priority.

“Revenue mobilisation plays an essential role in Pakistan’s fiscal sustainability,” said Muhammad Waheed, Task Team Leader of the Project.

“The project will target raising the tax-to-GDP ratio to 17pc in 2023-24 and widening the tax net from the current 1.2 million to at least 3.5 million active taxpayers.”

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019