ISLAMABAD  -   Finance Minister Asad Umar here Wednesday chaired the first meeting of the “FBR Policy Board” created under the FBR Act 2007. Finance Minister shall be the chairman of the Policy Board and the ministers for Commerce, Textile, Industries and Privatization shall be the ex-officio members of the Board along with chairmen standing committees on Finance and Revenue – Senate and National Assembly. Chairman FBR shall be the secretary of the Board. Among the nominated members (in advisory capacity) were Abdul Razak Dawood, Hammad Azhar, Senator Kauda Babar, Syed Javed (IT professional), Usman Yousaf Mubeen (chairman NADRA) and Abdullah Yousaf (former chairman FBR).

Chairman FBR gave a detailed briefing on the working of the Federal Board of Revenue and specially mentioned the actions recently taken by FBR to improve its performance. Separation of Tax Policy and Administration, Draft of FBR Transformation Plan, Swiss Avoidance of double taxation treaty ratified, identification of 152,201 Pakistani nationals with undeclared assets abroad, Retailers Electronically linked with FBR, 6451 high net-worth non-filers issued notices;( revenue recovered PKR 245 million), 4961 potentially undeclared properties abroad identified, objective criteria performance management, integrity Management Unit created were the highlights of the chairman’s briefing.

All the ex-officio and nominated members congratulated the finance minister on the formation of the policy Board after such a long time and welcomed the stance of the PTI government to consult with non-governmental members for improvement of the tax system of the country. After the detailed briefing by Chairman FBR and view sharing by the members, it was decided that the senate standing committee on law and justice shall be asked to review FBR laws where criminal investigation agencies have an overlapping jurisdiction with FBR so that the authority of FBR may be ascertained. Chairman NADRA was directed by the chair to start working on proposals for broadening of the tax base through the use of data already available at the NADRA data base; the suggestions will be reviewed by the Policy Board in detail for further action. Abdullah Yousaf stressed on the need for “Systemization through Automation” so that the elements of harassment and use of discretionary powers may be minimized.

 

 He was also directed by the chair to make detailed presentation on the Audit and inspection system of FBR and suggest improvements in the system. The presentation will be first shared with MoS Revenue and later be brought to the policy Board for further action.

Minister of State for Revenue said that it is his earnest desire that the FBR Policy Board may design ToRs for bridging the gap between policy and administration.

It was also decided that the Policy Board shall hold its regular meetings on quarterly basis and the next meeting will be held in mid of March.