Home General Govt up for Rs7tr revenue collection by 2023: S. Tarin

Govt up for Rs7tr revenue collection by 2023: S. Tarin


ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that the government aims at enhancing revenue collection up to Rs7 trillion by the end of its constitutional term in 2023.
Talking to the media along with Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar and Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiyar on Thursday, the finance minister said, “We have planned a 20% increase in the revenue every year.”
The finance minister expressed the hope to achieve a target of revenue collection up to Rs4,700 billion during this financial year whereas this target will be Rs5.8 trillion next year.
He said despite Covid-19 pandemic, the government remained successful in bringing the economic growth rate close to four percent. He said the growth rate will likely remain around five percent during the next fiscal year.
The finance minister said the government does not believe in imposing new taxes to enhance revenue collection and the objective for higher collections will be achieved through expanding the tax net. Tarin said, “We have decided to increase the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) allocation by 38 percent.”
He said, “We are also working to initiate the process of restructuring and privatisation of loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs).”
The minister said that they devised long-term and short-term plans to stabilise the country’s economy. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan’s economic growth rate rose to 4 percent during the current fiscal year, the finance minister said, adding that the GDP growth for the next fiscal year is estimated at 5 percent.
Criticizing the former rulers, Tarin said that the PML-N government’s wrong policies had brought the country to the brink of economic disaster. He said that the policies had caused a $20 billion loss to the national exchequer. He maintained that the incumbent government had to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to the wrong policies of the past government.
The finance minister said that they would launch a privatisation and restructuring programme in the country. He further said that the government would provide technical training to one person of each family across the country.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has announced that with effect from July 1, 2021, no notices will be issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) as the taxpayers will be able to carry out self-assessment whereas only 4 to 5 percent of the cases will be sent for audit which will not be done by FBR but by third party.
“I want to remove harassment by FBR. Although there are good people at FBR, there are also some troublemakers. Hence, we have agreed upon Universal Tax Self-Assessment and the audits by third party only”, he further said while speaking at an online meeting with Businessmen Group (BMG) leadership and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) office-bearers on Thursday.
Tarin warned if any wrongdoing is found after the audit by a third party, it will result in initiation of investigation and punitive action. He stated that the government is focused on rationalising the turnover tax in order to make some sense as it varies in numerous cases. He also agreed that when a three percent penalty is being charged in case of unregistered persons, the CNIC condition should not be there. Hence, the minister directed FBR to look into this matter and stop demanding CNIC.
“A call centre will also be established at FBR in which complaints can be lodged which I will personally review on a daily basis to ensure accountability at the FBR,” he added.
In response to concerns expressed over dilapidated infrastructure of Karachi, Tarin informed that a three years package of Rs900 billion has been allocated under PSDP for Karachi which will be finalised by the PM. “During discussions on this allocation at a meeting which will be presided over by the prime minister, I will definitely raise business community’s concerns and I will be your promoter,” he promised.
He said that the government is trying its best to facilitate the SMEs and, in this regard, the SMEs falling under the bracket of Rs2 million will be provided a ‘clean credit’ facility with no security.
He said that FBR will also be directed not to stop refunds of SMEs and small businesses. “We will clear all the backlog of refunds within a few months by issuing Tradeable Bonds so that the businesses could have sufficient liquidity available with them and a smarter mechanism will be introduced to clear refunds within 60 to 90 days.”
Referring to concerns expressed over Rs58 billion refunds pending under DLTL scheme, Tarin termed it as ‘a very good point” and directed FBR expedite the refunds while DLTL should not be collected this year as the FBR already owes huge amounts.
Commenting on a suggestion to treat indenters commission as export proceeds, the finance minister said that it is a very good idea to consider indenters’ commission as export proceeds as it has been observed that many indenters prefer to keeping their earnings outside the country but if these earnings were treated as export proceeds, it would encourage them to bring funds to Pakistan.
He said that reforms are being introduced at the revenue side which will ensure that no harassment takes place and there will be no double taxation.
Meanwhile, Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has affirmed his support for the successful completion of privatisation of the SME Bank.
The finance minister chaired a meeting on Thursday to review the progress on the privatisation of the SME Bank. Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Mian Soomro also participated the meeting along with SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Privatisation Commission and State Bank of Pakistan.
The meeting was briefed that the pre-bidding process is complete and interested parties have been shortlisted. The PC Board has also completed initial consultations with the short-listed bidders to facilitate them in the completion of their due diligence process.
The Privatisation Commission also informed the finance minister of the equity requirement of the SME Bank on which the finance minister directed the SAPM on revenue to assess the requirements and prepare a proposal for strengthening the balance sheet of the SME Bank.
The minister for privatisation informed that they are constantly in touch with the potential investors and will keep updating the Finance Ministry, SBP and all the other relevant stakeholders of the new developments. – TLTP