FBR doing fine

Published November 20, 2021

THIS is with reference to the editorial ‘Paying taxes’ (Nov 10), which commented on tax-collection efforts by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and ‘the nexus between the wealthy and tax collectors’. The commendable performance of the FBR has been widely appreciated by even the prime minister on more occasions than one.

The revenue target for 2020-21 has been surpassed by Rs54 billion, and growth has been recorded related to the number of income tax returns and the total tax collected. Contrary to the claims, the FBR is introducing automation and digitisation to increase revenue generation and to ensure transparency, efficiency and facilitation in the tax system in order to minimise human interaction with the taxpayers, thereby ensuring transparency.

The introduction of the Track and Trace and Point of Sales (POS) systems has worked well, and, in collaboration with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), plans are also afoot to use artificial intelligence (AI) and mathematical modelling (MM) to ascertain real income and actual tax liability.

There are a number of other initiatives that have been taken by the FBR and several others are in the pipeline to reform and restructure the tax-collection system.

FBR Spokesperson
Islamabad

TIME TO ACT: The ruling party never fails to miss an opportunity to attack the previous rulers for being promoters of corruption. What about the people within the party who have been involved in various kinds of corruption? Some have been named in Panama Papers, some have been named in commodity scams and some have cases pending against them in the courts. It is high time necessary steps were initiated by the government to treat people regardless of party affiliations.

Cdre (retd) Sajjad Ali Shah Bokhari
Islamabad

WAR AND VICTORY: The prime minister recently spoke during one of his speeches about one of the first four caliphs and his decision to remove a commander. He, however, did not talk about the cause behind the decision. As far as my understanding of history goes,

it was a decision that had nothing to do with worldly affairs. The chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, which is a constitutional body, should enlighten the nation on the subject.

Lt-Col (retd) Syed Iftikhar Ahmed
Karachi

WELFARE STATE: We have often heard of the intention of our rulers to put in place a true welfare state, but not much has happened in that regard. At least nothing is visible to the eyes of the mortal beings. Social, moral, economic and all other state structures are running contrary to the stated goal. Even the government itself would struggle to deny this. Sincerity is sadly missing.

Asma Qasim
Quetta

BANKING WOES: Private banks have started freezing customer accounts under the garb of self-determined customer due diligence (CDD) review, which is a law aimed at combating money-laundering, terrorism financing, etc. Client organisations registered under section 42 of the company laws have often been targeted, and complaints sent to bank officials and the regulators go straight to the wastepaper basket. This needs the urgent attention of the authorities concerned.

Ali Ashraf Khan
Karachi

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2021

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