Revenue shortfall compels country to go to IMF: FBR | Pakistan Today

Revenue shortfall compels country to go to IMF: FBR

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Salman Siddique said the revenue shortfall compels Pakistan to go for International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs. Out of a total Rs 1,558 billion revenue collection, Rs 750 billion to to debt servicing and Rs 441 billion are eaten away in defence spending leaving the government with no option but to borrow to function.
Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday, Siddique said after the passage of the National Finance Commission (NFC) award 60 percent revenues went directly to provinces, while one-per cent was being consumed on account of tax collection. It was evident from the broad distribution of revenues why Pakistan had to go for IMF programs, he said.
He indicated that FBR was preparing a new tariff regime to curb smuggling that would be in place in three-month time. He revealed that during the last two and half years, 29,000 Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) containers, out of total 350,000, had been misplaced in Pakistani territory. Addressing the grievances of business community, Siddique underlined that all policies were formulated in better interest of stakeholders and the board was trying to remove hindrances. He said after restructuring, the FBR had already empowered regional chiefs to resolve day-to-day issues on their own. He said the board was formulating its core policy to be finalised by end of next month.
He said that it was the second meeting of the consultation series after Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), which was being conducted to institutionalise contact with stakeholders. He assured businessmen that all major issues will be resolved in consultation with business community.
He said that with the help of NADRA and 19 other sources, FBR had identified another 120,000 potential tax evaders, who had been served notices. Out of these new assesses, 22,000 had filed their income tax returns. LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said the business community was in favour of expanded the tax net but rejected any move aimed to tax the already taxed.

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