September 05, 2019
ISLAMABAD.: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials to record their official interactions with traders while visiting markets. The move is aimed at eliminating corruption from the FBR and reviving public trust in the tax collecting body.
Chairing a meeting, the prime minister said FBR reforms were essential and restoring the confidence of the citizens in the board would help broaden the tax net. Briefing the prime minister, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said the board was automating its processes including registration, issuance of tax certificates, filing of tax returns and audit so that the citizens would not have to interact with FBR officials.
The prime minister was informed that in collaboration with NADRA, the FBR had launched a web portal to provide each individual with online access to financial details reaching the FBR from various institutions. The effectiveness of the online complaint resolution has also been enhanced to ensure immediate disposal of complaints against FBR officials.
Informing the prime minister about the FBR’s steps to ensure ease of doing business, Zaidi said tax refunds worth Rs16 billion had been paid and another Rs17 billion would be refunded by the end of the current month. The taxation system for shopkeepers and retailers is further being eased while a mobile application ‘Tax Asaan’ has been launched to facilitate taxpayers.
Tax forms have been translated into Urdu while the Urdu version of the FBR website will also be launched. The active taxpayers’ list is regularly updated to avoid any difficulty to the filers. Regarding the facilitation of trade, the FBR chief said the export sector was being facilitated through the ‘Easy Export’ scheme.
The FBR chief said the board had collected Rs579 billion until August of the current fiscal year and witnessed an increase of 14.65 per cent. The number of filers this year has increased by over 783,000, taking the total number of filers from 1.51 million in 2017 to 2.56 million this year.
The prime minister was informed that 28% increase had been registered in the domestic tax collection. Scanners had been installed at various custom stations and the customs facility was available round the clock at Torkham border. The customs operations at Kartarpur Corridor will start within the next few weeks. Zaidi told the prime minister that FBR teams were visiting the markets to inform the people about the online registration of cell phones brought into the country from abroad, the currency declaration system at airports and the passenger information system.