LAHORE - The Punjab Revenue Authority has collected a revenue of Rs75 billion during first nine months of the current fiscal year, which is 50 percent higher for the corresponding period.

These remarks were stated by PRA Chairman Dr Raheal Ahmed Siddiqui at an event conducted at a local hotel as part of Tax Day celebrations.

The event was also attended by Javed Ahmed (Member Operation PRA), Ali Mansoor (Commissioner Appeal PRA), Aman Anwar Kadwai (Additional Commissioner PRA), Salman Zafar (Director IT PRA) and delegates of Institute of Chartered Accounts of Pakistan, Pakistan Tax Bar, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Overseas Investors of Commerce & Industry, Department of International Development, Pakistan Business Council and delegation from all provincial authorities including the FBR.

He said that with the stability in the law and order situation in Pakistan and the completion of various CPEC projects more and more local and international businesses have either directed their attention towards doing business in the country or have already decided to expand their businesses.

"The registration of new businesses in both federal as well as provincial revenue authorities have been increasing with every passing day and the implementation of local tax laws are more necessary than ever," he said.

"To comprehend new challenges i.e. tax evasion, facilitating tax payers, understanding of tax laws, increase of tax revenue, etc., more deliberate effort should be made by all the competent authorities to work together and resolve all issues including issue of double taxation, input adjustment and sharing of data," he said.

Since the introduction of PRA as provincial revenue collecting agency in 2016 it has proved its existence by conducting tax clinics for different sectors and registering new tax payers while inducting new smart systems like RIMS, STRIVE, E-Courts into its portfolio.

Chief guest Dr Hafeez Pasha praised PRA in introducing a transparent tax system in a very short span of time.

He also advised the authorities to gain the confidence of the businessmen before implementing any new taxes so that fewer implications are faced and more revenue can be generated.

He praised PRA's initiative towards conducing Tax Clinics for different sectors as he thinks this helps gain trust of the industrialist but advised the government to make business friendly policies.

He also applauded PRA's initiative of introduction RIMS like monitoring system for different sectors as he thinks it shall not only help increase tax revenue but assist in curbing tax evasion.

During the meeting representatives of ICAP, PTB, OICCI, LCCI and PBC presented their concern, issues and ideas to the authorities for the betterment of the tax system.  They stressed the need for a broad based policy, directly focused towards the ease of rules and regulations for the industry.

Number of taxpayers

increases in Punjab: Aisha

Punjab Finance Minister Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha has said that the number of taxpayers has increased in the province with an estimation of 46000 more people are paying taxes, which is a positive gesture toward revenue generation goals.

The minster was addressing a Pre-Budget Conference 2018-2019: Tax Reforms in Pakistan organised by School of Commerce and Accountancy at University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore.  She said the number of taxpayers could be multiplied providing that universities raise awareness among people to return their tax files and formally register for tax net.

She said we need to change our perception of tax and the budget by keeping in mind that the more people pay taxes, the better would be lifestyle and facilities.

The minister said when the number of taxpayers expands, every budget whether it is provincial or federal turns to be more attractive, more meaningful and public friendly.

Shading light on the Punjab government's policies, Dr Aisha said that the government is taking many initiatives to restore confidence between taxpayers the government.

She said the government wants to provide maximum opportunities of health, education and other basic facilities to masses, but it is also the responsibility of every citizen to change their traditional way of thinking about tax ratio and GDP.

UMT Director General Abid HK Shirwani said that educational institutions in collaboration with chambers of commerce and industry, and other professional bodies could help the government to increase the number of taxpayers and sensibly work out the budget.