ISLAMABAD - The government Monday appointed Dr Waqar Masood as Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) for Revenue with the status of minister of state.

Waqar Masood had retired as secretary finance in January 2017 on reaching the age of 60 years. In April 2020, the government had included Waqar Masood in Special Cell/Think Tank, which was constituted in Finance Division, to continuously evaluate evolving situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, identify issues, engage with stakeholders, provide data/input for decision making and suggest interventions to help with course. Later, in September this year, Masood was appointed as member Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board.

Government officials informed that government authorities are impressed with the experience of Masood, who had served as longest secretary finance of the country. The officials are of the view that Masood’s experience would help in dealing with IMF. He had impressed the top heads of the government with his proposals during the meetings of Think Tank in dealing with economic situation after Covid-19 and preparation of the annual budget for the current fiscal year.

Waqar Masood, as SAPM for Revenue, would face the massive challenge of meeting of annual tax collection target during current fiscal year. The government had set ambitious annual tax collection target of Rs4.963 trillion for the current financial year, which had termed unrealistic by the economic experts without additional revenue generation measures.

However, the FBR has performed well in first quarter of the current fiscal year. The FBR had collected Rs1004 billion in the first quarter (July to September) of the current fiscal year exceeding the tax collection target by Rs34 billion.