ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar has constituted a Reforms and Resource Mobilisation Commission (RRMC), under the chairmanship of Ashfaque Tola, with the mandate to identify measures for mobilisation of revenues and preparation of budgetary proposals.
The commission will review and advise restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), including evaluating the possibility of making the Board autonomous. At the moment, the FBR is under the direct control of the government. Ironically, the FBR employees in the past had opposed proposals to grant autonomy because they considered that they remained powerful while remaining a part of the government.
The notification nominated three subject experts including Nisar Muhammad, former chairman of FBR for Customs, Dr Muhammad Iqbal, former Member of Inland Revenue Policy for Income Tax, and Abdul Hameed Memon for Sales Tax for assisting the commission to prepare feasible taxation proposals.
A notification was issued in this regard by Secretary Revenue Division/Chairman FBR Asim Ahmed on Thursday. Besides three subject experts, other members of the commission are Asif Haroon, Haider Ali Patel, Abdul Qadir Memon, Dr Veqar Ahmed, Saqib Sherazi, Ghanzanfar Bilour, President FPCCI or his nominee, President Pakistan Tax Bar Association, Chairman FBR and Member (Reforms & Modernisation) FBR Secretary to the Commission.
Terms of Reference of the Commission illustrate that it will make recommendations to the finance minister on the following areas: (i) To review existing revenue policies, evaluate FBR data at the macro level, and identify initiatives/ measures/ policies for resource mobilisation, ease of doing business, and pro-economic growth. (ii) To identify issues/ difficulties/ snags/ risks of the existing tax system and recommend remedial measures. (iii) To review the budget proposals, evaluate their consequences on business, and advice foreign minister on practical aspects of budget proposals. (iv) To review the proposed amendments to the finance bill and make recommendations to the FM on implications of proposed amendments on businesses. (v) To review the complexities of tax legislation and recommend simplification, e.g. different compliance levels for different categories of taxpayers. (vi) To suggest action plan to curb the parallel economy and to make recommendations for improving financial inclusion in the documented system. (vii) To 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 tax payer facilitation. (viii) To make recommendations for minimising taxpayer/tax collector interaction and maximising trust between FBR and the taxpayers. (ix) To review and advise restructuring of FBR from the following perspectives:-To evaluate the possibility of making FBR autonomous; To evaluate the possibility of establishing an independent audit system; To evaluate the possibility of establishing a separate legal department; (x) To make recommendations on the harmonization of GST between the Federation and provinces and development of a single portal for filing sales tax returns. (xi) Any other related matter.
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