ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Friday said that the present Government, immediately after assuming responsibilities, had undertaken a comprehensive exercise to eliminate Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) issued over time favouring the privileged class.
Putting an end to the SRO culture would ultimately benefit the people at large,” the Minister added.
He stated this while addressing a meeting at the FBR here on Friday on measures regarding elimination of SRO culture, said a press release issued by Finance Ministry.
The Minister said that Pakistan’s tax system had been riddled with distortive and discriminatory exemptions and concessions had been granted to vested groups over a long period.
“It goes to the unwavering political will and commitment of the government that despite presence of strong and influential groups, the process of elimination and curtailment of exemptions had been initiated and in the very first year a large segment of this concessionary regime had been withdrawn/ rationalized”, the minister remarked.
The Minister said that in the past all reform efforts, with or without IMF programmes, failed in touching the concessionary regime but we went for ending it and have produced results that would benefit the people at large.
He said that in the budget for fiscal year 2014-15,the concessions/exemptions amounting to Rs 104 billion were withdrawn.
Ishaq Dar said the first part of a comprehensive phase out plan (launched in 2013) for ending SRO/exemption culture; spread over three years had been undertaken.
In the second phase of the plan, all residual concessions/ exemptions either in the SROs or Schedules shall be withdrawn over the next year except socially sensitive concessions, he added.
The Minister called upon the officials engaged in the exercise for elimination of tax culture to perform their tasks dedicatedly and diligently as it would be great service to both the country and the nation.
He appreciated the Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa and his team for the hard work done and wished them success for the future drive.
Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan also addressed the meeting.