Govt committed to operational, financial autonomy of FBR: Tarin

Seeks steps for taking tax-to-GDP ratio to 20pc in 6-8 years

The government is fully committed to granting operational and financial autonomy to the Federal
Board of Revenue (FBR) in order to rule out the possibility of political interference and make the
revenue collection body an efficient, merit-based, service-oriented and public friendly organisation.
Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin stated this while addressing the senior officers at
FBR Headquarters, said a press release issued by the FBR.
Highlighting the importance of digitisation of FBR, Tarin said that automation in the tax system will
bring transparency and reduce the discretionary powers which have always been a long term
demand of the business community. He expressed his commitment to provide required funds for
digitization, he said that a technical supplementary grant of Rs3.8 billion has already been approved
in the current week to upgrade the IT Systems and their security.
Commenting about Pakistan Single Window (PSW) project, he stated that under PSW, more than 70
different departments would converge on one platform for the facilitation of the business
community, which would promote trade in the country.
He urged FBR to follow an ambitious target of taking the tax-to-GDP ratio to 20 percent in the next
6-8 years. "The broadening of the tax base is one of the top priorities of my team for the current
year and we have constituted committees of private sector experts, NADRA and FBR officers who are
working tirelessly."
While elaborating the function of these committees, he added that these committees were also
working on the assessment of resource constraints of FBR, especially the finances and the logistics,
and they would be recommending the ways and means to overcome these constraints.
He appreciated last year's commendable performance of FBR regarding collection of revenue target
despite challenges posed by Covid-19. He also stated that FBR is on track for achievement of this
year's target of Rs5,829 billion as FBR has already surpassed the target with a margin of Rs160 billion
in the first two months.
He paid tributes to the sacrifices by Customs officials who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
While concluding his address, he hoped that team FBR would spare no effort or avenue to not only
achieve the assigned revenue target of Rs5.8 trillion but also exceed the same by wide margins.
The finance minister also appreciated FBR for making significant headway towards harmonisation of
sales tax between the federation and the federating units under the umbrella of National Tax
Council (NTC). He appreciated the Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) and called
it a landmark project, which would connect the whole region from Central Asia to South Asia after its
He further stated that anti-smuggling and counter-smuggling initiatives are one of the top most
priority areas and the prime minister is very concerned about it. He appreciated FBR's efforts to curb
smuggling despite resource constraints.
He said that the other flagship initiative is Point of Sales (PoS) integration which aims at recording
the real time transactions at retail level and has huge potential to increase the revenue of the state.
The finance minister also briefed about the progress on the track and trace project which would be
rolled out from November as the stay granted by one of the high courts had been vacated and he
had also approved funds of Rs432 million for the project.