The government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) is trying its best to fill the gaps in the economy through new ways of revenue collection. The recent idea after the research of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is to tax all high-end individuals who are paying meager taxes in the country despite earning a lofty sum. These include high-net-worth dress designers, beauticians, and stylists, photographers, artists, doctors, etc, as confirmed by FBR spokesperson Dr Hamid Ateeq. With the economy shrinking due to the rising inflation, voters shifting allegiance, and the opposition parties waiting to oust the government, boosting the economy is one of the few ways the government can manage to swing the opinion in their favour. It is important to look beyond traditional methods of revenue collection because relying on that has not worked out well for the government, as the quarterly statistics show that the government will fail to meet the target it set for itself.

The understanding behind this particular initiative to include high net worth individuals into the tax is to not harass these individuals as we have seen that the government’s accountability narrative has managed to create insecurity amongst those doing business in the country. However, the government has instructed its team to cooperate with these people in order to bring them into the tax net. This is a lot of revenue that goes unchecked and is part of the e-commerce economy in Pakistan that is operating without any taxing net. The FBR has also been advised to not target any particular individual rather work on facts that show income that is unaccounted for by the government and must be brought into the tax net to help the economy.

This is definitely a new direction for the economy of Pakistan. This is the government trying to find ways within the current setup to bridge the gaps. The government needs to work on media campaigns that can help incentivise people to be a part of this initiative instead of witnessing it as another hinderance in their work.