ISLAMABAD-The government on Monday has decided to bring reforms in Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). An important meeting was held in the Ministry of Finance to discuss FBR reforms. The meeting was chaired by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and was attended by Abdul Razak Daood, Advisor to PM on Commerce, Textile and Investment, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Advisor to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity and Secretary Finance Division.

The officers included FBR Chairman Muhammad Javed Ghani, Doctor Ashfaq Ahmad, Member IR Operations, Ambreen Iftikhar, Member Reforms & Modernization and Asim Ahmad, Member IT. Member Reforms and Modernisation gave a detailed presentation to the Committee. It was decided in the meeting that FBR would submit regular reports on revenue collection along with analysis to clearly bifurcate growth patterns in various sectors. Regarding refunds, new taxpayers, number of POS retailers and resolved complaints, committee decided that FBR would submit regular reports on this performance indicators region wise to the Finance Division. The Appellate System and court matters came into discussion as well. The meeting decided that FBR would revamp its existing Appellate structure to extract maximum stuck-up revenue in litigation at various Appellate forums like CIR Appeals, ATIR, and Courts. The meeting decided that FBR would make all out efforts to fully automate Income Tax Refunds and would submit the progress report to the Finance Division regularly.

The matter of simplification of Income Tax Returns was also discussed in the meeting. It was decided that FBR would simplify the Income Tax Returns on sectoral basis and the progress of simplification measures taken by FBR would be submitted to the Finance Division. Regarding monitoring of RTOs, CRTOs and LTUs, it was agreed and decided that FBR would submit regular reports to the Ministry of Finance by providing breakdown of the monthly targets and performance along with trend analysis based on sectors. The meeting participants acknowledged the necessity of publicising the reform initiatives for awareness of the taxpayers and decided that FBR would make efforts to publicise the reform initiatives and the progress to the taxpayers through mass media to create awareness about the measures taken by FBR.

It was also decided that FBR would also furnish the regular reports about smuggling situation at borders clearly indicating the number and quantity of seized items. The meeting participants agreed to strengthen Integrity Management Unit of FBR to resolve the complaints quickly. The meeting decided that FBR would submit report to the Finance Division regarding the assignment of monthly revenue targets and how they were being monitored and assigned. Lastly, the meeting also decided to establish a high level Technical Committee in FBR to evaluate all future proposals. 

Meanwhile, in another Trade Facilitation Initiative, FBR has issued instructions to all field formations of Pakistan Customs for ensuring expeditious clearance of imports & exports consignments of perishable goods. The Chief Collectors have been directed to monitor the clearance of perishable goods on daily basis and resolve the issues of the importers/exporters on priority. Furthermore the Chief Collectors have been advised to point out the reasons of delay in clearance of perishable goods including the issues on account of NOC’s by other organisations such as Department of Plant Protection etc. so that these organisations can also be approached to facilitate trade & industry.While FBR is making all out efforts to facilitate trade, the Trade Bodies are encouraged to contact the respective Chief Collector for resolution of any issue relating to the clearance of consignments of perishable goods. FBR is striving hard to ensure the highest standards of efficiency and trade facilitation and thus to provide an enabling environment for business in Pakistan. Meanwhile, FBR has issued an order under Section 4 (1) (r) of FBR Act-2007 to re-designate the field formations. The re-designation of IR field formations will be effective from September 1, 2020. According to the order, the Large Taxpayers Unit, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have been re-designated as Large Taxpayers Office Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The Large Taxpayers Unit-II, Karachi has been re-designated as Medium Taxpayers Office, Karachi. 

Similarly, the nomenclatures of Corporate Regional Tax Office, Karachi and Lahore have been changed as Corporate Tax Office, Karachi and Lahore. The order further re-designated the Regional Tax Office-II, Karachi as Regional Tax Office-I, Karachi, Regional Tax Office-III, Karachi as Regional Tax Office-II, Karachi and Regional Tax Office-II, Lahore as Regional Tax Office, Lahore.