ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has constituted an 11-member Reforms and Resource Mobilisation Commission (RRMC) to review existing revenue policies and submit its first report by mid-April 2023.

The commission is to be headed by renowned chartered accountant Ashfaq Tola with a full secretariat office at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarters. The chairman of the commission will report directly to the finance minister and can co-opt any other person and also constitute sub-groups.

FBR Member Reforms will be the secretary of the commission, according to a notification of the FBR released on Thursday.

Other members of the commission are Asif Haroon, Haider Ali Patel, Abdul Qadir Memom, Dr Veqar Ahmed, Saqib Sherazi, Ghanzanfar Bilour, FPCCI president or his nominee and Pakistan Tax Bar Association president and FBR chairman.

The commission will have Nisar Muhammad (Customs), Dr Muham­mad Iqbal (Income Tax) and Abdul Hameed Memon (sales tax) as subject experts.

The terms of reference (ToRs) of the commission are to review existing revenue policies, evaluate FBR data at a macro level, and identify initiatives/measures/policies for resource mobilisation, ease of doing business, and pro-economic growth.

It will also identify issues/difficulties/snags/risks of the existing tax system and recommend remedial measures and review the budget proposals, evaluate their consequences on business and advise the finance minister on practical aspects of budget proposals.

It will also review the proposed amendments in Finance Bill and make recommendations to the finance minister on the implications of proposed amendments on businesses, review the complexities of tax legislation and recommend simplification, e.g. different compliance levels for different categories of taxpayers

The commission will suggest an action plan to curb the parallel economy and to make recommendations for improving financial inclusion in the documented system, review and recommend a robust IT system on modern lines and upgrade existing IT facilities to maximise tax compliance, enforcement, broaden the tax base and provide taxpayer facilitation.

It will also make recommendations for minimising taxpayer/tax collector interaction and maximising trust between FBR and the taxpayers.

The commission will review, advise and restructure FBR to evaluate the possibility of making it autonomous, establishing an independent audit system, setting up a separate legal department and making recommendations on harmonisation of GST between federation and provinces and development of a single portal for filing of sales tax returns.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2022

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