October 22, 2020

PM Imran Khan held a meeting yesterday (13 November 2019) with top officers of tax collection authorities and stressed the need for a centralized revenue collection authority. The PM summoned BPS-21 officers of taxation departments and told them that the tax collection in the country can be made more effective through such steps. He added that the government wants all senior officers to submit a proposal based on their experiences on how this step can be taken. The PM said that, “We want to get serious proposals from you as per your experience to make the tax system more efficient.”

The government in October planned the centralization of tax collection through the formation of a centralized tax collection body named Pakistan Revenue Authority (PRA). The plans for the formation were hastily approved without consulting the major stakeholders. Hence, this gave way to massive unrest in the separate taxation departments, such as the FBRIRS and the customs. Speaking to the members of the meeting the PM reminded the members regarding their importance in the country’s economic stability and asked their feedback regarding the reforms.

The PM said that he finds the fact astonishing that people are willing to pay zakat but are not willing to pay the government their due taxes, as they don’t trust the government. He further added that the traders have accused the taxation department of misuse of power. He added that, “Tax department will have to remove fear and apprehensions from the minds of taxpayers.”

The tax officials also complained regarding the misuse of the collected taxes by the government. The PM said that the previous rulers had used the government’s money to forward their own agendas. He said that, “we have reduced PM office’s expenditure by Rs350 million and that of the federal government by Rs45 billion.” He added that the governor’s house in Murree alone had received a funding of Rs830 million for maintenance.

He added that we are committed to improve the situation and the government has to collect Rs5.5 trillion in the current financial year.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Planning Khusro Bakhtiyar, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and other senior government officials.

Muhammad Asad

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