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Crisis cost Rs35bn to economy: FBR

January 03, 2008

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LAHORE, Jan 2: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Abdullah Yousaf says the economy has suffered a loss of Rs35 billion due to the crisis following the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Talking to reporters at the graduation ceremony of 34th Specialised Training Programme at the Directorate General of Training and Research (Direct Taxes) here on Wednesday evening, Yousaf said making up of the loss during the remaining six months of the current financial year would depend on the circumstances. Peaceful atmosphere would be required for making up the loss, he added.

The FBR chairman said the government had provided a financial assistance of Rs30 billion for research and development to textile industry to overcome the crisis it was facing. It could, however, not help it in the manner as it did in the past. It could only help it by creating conducive environment for it but could not market their products in the present age of competition.

He said the performance of economy during the first five months of this financial year was better than the corresponding period last year. Revenue collection of Rs349 billion during the period was better than the target and 14.8 per cent higher than the previous year.

Speaking at the passing-out ceremony earlier, he said the government was promoting understanding and partnership with taxpayers after a paradigm shift in the previous system of tax collection. The assessment-based system was being changed to self-assessment system. Contact between taxpayer and tax collectors was being minimised and discretionary powers had been diminished.

He said Pakistanis were second to none in the world as individuals but were not so as a nation. The country had maintained an average 7 per cent growth during the last three years. The government being only a sleeping partner was providing conducive atmosphere for investment and growth to private sector to enable it to play its role as leader of change and development.

He said the private sector had to make its products competitive in every respect through increased efficiency, as the times of tax and quota concessions had become a history. He said that FBR was upgrading the skills of its officials to international level through training.

Muhammad Munir Qureshi, the director-general, highlighted the role being played by the Directorate of Training in providing international standard training to FBR officials.