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Monday December 06, 2021

FBR harassment: Third party audit to be introduced, says Shaukat Tarin

May 31, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin on Sunday said that there would be Universal Self-Assessment Scheme (USAS) in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and only 3 percent audit through third party would be conducted in order to ensure harassment-free environment into the FBR. The minister said that if the FBR caught wilful defaulter then he would be put behind the bars. He stressed the need for having a “Charter of Economy” saying that f India could implement the economic reform agenda drafted by Manmohan Singh irrespective of the political divide then Pakistan should have done the same thing.

The minister conceded that many private companies around the globe had bankrupted because of failing to tackle the issue of rising pension bills and it could bankrupt our country as well.

“I will meet the prime minister in next few days for seeking permission to meet opposition guys as I want to have Charter of Economy for ensuring implementation of the long-term economic plan,” Shaukat Tarin said while addressing pre-budget webinar organised by Institute of Policy Reforms (IPR).

The minister said Imran Khan assured him that everything required for Pakistan would be implemented. He said his first priority would be achieving higher and sustainable growth and increasing Rs1 trillion tax revenue into the FBR collection next year, thus the government was trying to fix annual tax collection target of Rs5.8 trillion against the IMF demand of Rs5.963 trillion. He said that the government would go close to what IMF demands.

Tarin made it clear that the government would not hike power tariff at all. He said the government plans to launch special programme through adopting bottom up approach to uplift 4 to 6 million households for providing housing loans, small loans and agriculture package in the upcoming budget.

When asked how the FBR would achieve Rs1 trillion increased tax collection jacking up from Rs4.8 trillion to Rs5.8 trillion in next budget for having nominal growth of just 12.8 percent, the minister replied that there would be no new taxes in the budget and they would not depend upon additional taxes. He said that there would be nominal growth of 13 percent including GDP growth of 5 percent and inflation target of 8 percent in 2021-22, then additional 7 percent growth would be translated into FBR collection through broadening of tax base with help of technology.

He said that few income tax exemptions would be done away, while GST would be expanded through Point of Sale (POS) software. The government, he said, would target to 85,000 shops integration with POS and it would be increased to 0.5 million over next two years.

To another query regarding increased demand for imports that is projected to touch $55 billion in upcoming budget, the minister said that the government was bringing paradigm shift for boosting exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) would be promoted into export oriented new sectors.

Earlier, in his address, he said that the IMF became very tough and provided Pakistan a front-loaded programme. He said that the jacking up discount rate to 13.25 percent was overkilling when the core inflation was standing at 7 percent.