close
Wednesday October 27, 2021

Pakistan committed to fight tax evasion: Hafeez

December 10, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that Pakistan is firmly committed to fighting tax evasion and other illicit financial flows and need more international cooperation for cross-border assistance in tax recovery.

Hafeez Sheikh addressed the plenary meeting of the global forum on “Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes 2020”, organised by OECD.

In his online remarks, adviser on finance stated that Pakistan had achieved important milestones in transparency and exchange of information. He appreciated the technical support extended by the Global Forum and the UK government, which was instrumental in implementing the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). At present, Pakistan is one of the few developing countries among the early adopters of the CRS and began exchanging data with partner jurisdictions in less than 02 years, he added.

While speaking on the occasion, the adviser outlined that Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information (EOI) are powerful tools to enhance tax compliance. Pakistan is firmly committed to fighting tax evasion and other illicit financial flows and need more international cooperation for cross-border assistance in tax recovery, he stressed.

The adviser also briefed the forum about the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by the government to mitigate sufferings of the vulnerable groups. During COVID-19, government of Pakistan introduced “Smart Lockdown” to contain the spread of the disease with the need to keep the economy functional. The smart lockdown approach by the government of Pakistan was acknowledged worldwide. The smart lockdown allowed many businesses to re-open or continue operations on limited scale to lessen the adverse economic impact during testing times. The government of Pakistan gave cash payments to 15 million families under “Ehsaas Emergency Cash Payments”.

Amid COVID-19, government has taken several initiatives to accelerate economic recovery. A relief package for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) shielded against insolvency and joblessness. Similarly, a special package was announced to boost construction sector which included amnesty scheme, tax exemption and Rs33 billion subsidy to stimulate economic growth. Pakistan has registered an upward trend in foreign remittances and FDI during first quarter of FY-2020-21.

The government is firmly committed to correct fundamentals of the economy through effective policy making and targeted reforms. The end goal is to achieve sustainable economic growth, he concluded.