ISLAMABAD-Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Monday that the government was ready to listen to all stakeholders to prepare an innovative budget for the upcoming fiscal year (2020-21) in accordance with the prevailing economic circumstances. The adviser was chairing a meeting here at the Finance Division through video link with Dr. Ikram-ul-Haq to discuss proposals on improving the tax structure of the country with the help of effective data gathering and reconciliation mechanism.

Dr. Ikram shared with the Adviser the important inferences from data gathering exercise and suggested certain techniques for data reconciliation that could improve tax collection in a more effective manner. Chairman FBR, Secretary Finance and Ex-secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Massoud Khan were also present during the meeting. “The government is ready to listen to all stakeholders to prepare a budget which is according to the need of the prevailing economic circumstances and innovative in providing solutions to the structural problems of the economy,” he said.

Hafeez Shaikh said that while preparing the next budget, there was need to be more vigilant, practical and analyze the opportunities and challenges offered by the current environment.

The adviser appreciated the work done by Dr. Ikramul- Haq for gathering data across the country from selected markets and from different chambers of commerce and industry, asking him to firm up his proposals in concise and doable manner and share the draft as early as possible with the Ministry so that these proposals could be well incorporated in the upcoming budget.

He also directed FBR to collect data through multiple sources that may be best used for effective budget making exercise.

The Adviser said that the basic purpose of this exercise was to consult experts to seek suggestions and insights so that the fundamental problems of the tax collection system in the country could be effectively addressed.