ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top tax machinery has proposed revenue and enforcement measures in the upcoming budget to raise an additional Rs1,000 billion in total revenue collection in the next fiscal year, Dawn learnt from knowledgeable sources on Tuesday.

In his first visit to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Finance Minister Miftah Ismail discussed these revenue measures and other tax proposals at lenght.

Top tax officials shared revenue collection plans for next year with the minister, which showed that the proposed revenue target for next year will be Rs7.2 trillion as against the current year’s Rs6.1tr. The source said the target is based on the internal workings of the FBR, adding that the International Monetary Fund has yet to give its figure on the revenue side.

The minister was further informed that FBR revenue collection by the end of June 2022 will reach Rs6tr. The government has held out an assurance to the IMF that revenue collection will reach Rs6.1tr by the end of the current fiscal year.

FY22 target likely to be missed due to zero sales tax on petroleum products

According to the source, the revenue collection may fall short of the proposed target mainly due to zero percent sales tax on petroleum products besides on several other products including fertilisers.

The minister was briefed on the proposed revenue measures on income tax and customs sides. However, FBR is believed to raise maximum revenue from point of sale (POS), track and trace system (TTS) and other enforcement measures.

An official announcement of the FBR said the finance minister visited FBR Islamabad to review performance and the ongoing drive for tax compliance by the country’s premier revenue collection organisation.

Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad briefed the finance minister on revenue collection performance.

During the meeting, Mr Ahmad gave a detailed briefing to the minister on the overall performance and revenue targets and collections made during the first 10 months of the current financial year.

The minister hoped that FBR would continue to maximise revenue collection in the next two months to meet the upward revised target fixed for the current financial year, 2021–2022. He also expressed his desire that Team FBR should explore all avenues of tax compliance and, thus, make all efforts to harness true revenue potential across Pakistan.

Mr Miftah assured the chairman FBR of his total support in the ongoing tax collection drive in the country.

Chairman FBR also gave a detailed account of the flagship initiatives, including POS and TTS. He assured the minister that all measures would be taken to further improve these initiatives and tap the real revenue potential in the retail as well as large-scale manufacturing sectors.

The finance minister appreciated various innovative digital measures adopted by Pakistan Customs, which include Clearance in the Sky and the digitalisation drive of FBR in order to automate business processes, ensure ease of doing business, and thereby facilitate taxpayers. The minister emphasised that similar digital interventions should be made at sea ports to ensure seamless and smooth cargo clearance.

Mr Miftah reiterated that all avenues must be explored and meaningful budget proposals presented to the government to maximise tax collection without creating any additional burden on the common man.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2022

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