ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Friday launched 2nd Tax Directory of Parliamentarians and General Tax-payers for the Year 2014, aimed at promoting tax compliance culture in the country.
Minister for Finance, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar inaugurated the directories at FBR Headquarters as the details of tax returns of Parliamentarians would be placed at the Board’s website.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister for Finance said that out of total 1,169 Parliamentarians, 1,040 has filed their tax returns where as 129 members have so far not deposited their taxes returns.
However, he said that these members were also asked to deposit their due tax returns by April 10.
He said that from the floor of the National Assembly, he had appealed the members to submit their tax returns and details of all these would be uploaded on FBR’s website.
Lauding the efforts of FBR, the Minister said that it was a difficult task to publish the tax directory of the members of Parliament but the government took the initiative and published it during the last year.
He said that the government had promised that it would publish the tax directory to enhance and promote the tax compliance culture in the country and it had fulfilled its yet another commitment by launching the directory of second year.
Dar informed that when PML-N came into power in 2013, the number of total tax-payers in the country were 711,000 which was increased to 800,000 during last financial year, adding that upto now it has reached 857,000 which were published in recent directory.
“Government has set a target to increase the tax-payers numbers upto 900,000 by the end of current fiscal year by enhancing 100,000 tax payers every year to broaden the tax base”, he added.
He said that the government was also working gradually to do away with the SRO culture and tax exemptions and by 2017 all SROs will be eliminated.
A law would be introduced to stop FBR and even the minister to issue any SRO, he added.
He informed that Pakistan was 4th country in the world which had published the tax directory of its Parliamentarians and which was appreciated by the global community.
The Minister said that to simplifying the tax system in the country, National Tax Return Numbers (NTN) for individual would be withdrawn and national identity card would be considered as NTN.
Ishaq Dar said that due to economic reforms agenda introduced by the government, the economic indicators were showing progress and economy was heading towards sustainable development.
He said that international credit rating agencies have also acknowledged the economic performance and development of Pakistan and has changed their rating for the different sectors of national economy.
The Minister said that Moody’s Investor Service has declared the national economy positive from negative and now it has declared it stable economy which was a good omen for the country.
Dar said that other macro economic indicators including inflation, overseas remittances’ inflows, foreign reserves, GDP growth, budget deficit and stock market index are showing positive signs.
Moreover, he said that the World Bank formally informed the government that the country had become eligible for availing the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) funding after a lapse of three years.
The country was able to receive the facility mainly owing to significant increase in growth rate, revenues, low inflation, cut in budget deficit and surging foreign exchange reserves.
As Pakistan is now maintaining foreign exchange reserves of more than 2.5 months of projected imports and satisfied other criteria of World Bank under the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), it will now be able to avail US$ 02 billion worth of IBRD funding during the period 2015-19.
The remedial and corrective measures, initiated by country’s leadership brought the economy back on track and reserves had touched $16 billion mark including over $11 billion with State Bank of Pakistan.
Ishaq Dar also expressed his resolve to take foreign reserves to $18.29 billion by the end of this year which he said would be the highest foreign reserves of the history of the country.
He expressed the hope that Pakistan would soon be able to join the league of emerging markets as huge potential exist for progress and development.