ISLAMABAD: The government is considering a proposal to unveil a fresh Tax Amnesty Scheme for the regularisation of non-duty-paid vehicles belonging to formerly merged districts known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)/Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Another proposal is under consideration to slap Additional Customs Duty (ACD) up to 3 percent on imports, especially on non-essential and luxury items in a bid to fetch Rs50 to Rs70 billion into the national kitty.
Earlier, the proposal prepared by the FBR included the imposition of a Flood Levy in the range of up to 2 percent on imports but now it seems that it has been dropped and ACD up to 3 percent was actively under consideration. Both proposals are still on the table and it is to be seen which one is getting assent of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“The proposal for regularisation of non-duty paid vehicles belonging to formerly known FATA and PATA are under consideration with estimates that the FBR can fetch up to Rs30 billion into the national kitty,” top official sources confirmed while talking to The News here on Wednesday.
Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar visited the FBR and chaired a high-level meeting but the proposals related to the mini-budget through the promulgation of an ordinance could not be considered and finalised owing to paucity of time.
The official said that the FBR has estimated that around 150,000 to 250,000 vehicles could be regularised under the proposed scheme if the government granted its final nod. The FATA/PATA areas were merged into the KP province in 2018 and there was a demand to provide the opportunity to give a chance to regularise non-duty paid vehicles by paying duty and taxes.
The IMF/World Bank always opposes all kinds of fresh tax amnesty schemes and it is yet to seen how the government will be able to convince the multilateral creditors for one-time another such scheme when the country is under the IMF program.
Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenues will take up approval to consider and finalise the recommendations on the Money Bill, the Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 laid in the House on 15th December 2022, under Article 73 of the Constitution, and referred to the Standing Committee in Thursday (today) meeting, which was laid down by former finance minister Miftah Ismail.
In another important but relevant development, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has convened an important meeting for reviewing the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the current fiscal year. The Ministry of Finance has proposed slashing the PSDP allocation from Rs727 billion to Rs350 billion for the current fiscal year while the Ministry of Planning has also forwarded a summary to the premier to protect the PSDP funding at Rs727 billion for the ongoing financial year 2022-23.
According to an official statement issued by the FBR, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on the revenue performance of FBR at the FBR headquarters. The SAPM on Finance, Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue, Tariq Mehmood Pasha, chairman FBR, Members of the Board (FBR), and other senior officers from the Finance Division attended the meeting.
Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad welcomed the finance minister at the FBR and gave a detailed presentation on revenue targets and performance of FBR for the months of November and December 2022. He told the minister that FBR has surpassed the revenue collection targets till November and expressed the hope to successfully meet its targets in the remaining months of the financial year 2022-23.
The finance minister expressed satisfaction and appreciated the FBR team for its efforts in meeting the targets. He further extended his full support to FBR in the performance of their duties for revenue collection. The minister also stressed the FBR team to position themselves according to changes in the economic outlook and advised the FBR rank and file to increase their efforts to achieve the true tax potential in the country.