ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has entered into data sharing agreements with provincial revenue authorities to enhance efficiency and transparency in the sales tax collection system of the country.

The agreement in Karachi was signed by Member (R&S) Board of Revenue Ahmed Ali Shah on behalf of the Sindh government, and that in Quetta by Senior Member Board of Revenue Roshan Ali Shaikh on behalf of the Balochistan government. The FBR was represented by Member (IT) Abdul Majid Yousfani in both agreements.

The agreements are designed to promote digital integration. An FBR announcement said that under the agreements, the two organisations will share specified digital data, including those relating to land/property ownership and agricultural income. This will help improve tax collection activities in their respective domains.

The agreements envisage to further develop integrated IT-based platforms through which automated exchange of data will be possible in future. The FBR has been making consistent efforts to acquire third-party data by linking its IT system with different provincial departments and other organisations in order to broaden the tax base and improve transparency in the tax collection system.

For this purpose, agreements have already been signed with provincial excise and taxation departments and development authorities, from where valuable data is being acquired.

Harmonising GST on services is a condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to unlock funding to Pakistan stalled since December despite implementing several tough policy decisions, including additional tax measures.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2023

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