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Documentation and broadening of tax base is the need of the hour: Hafeez Shaikh

A day-long meeting of Tax Reform Coordination Group (TRCG) was held on 24th February, 2012 under the Chairmanship of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Hafeez Shaikh. The TRCG members who attended included: Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Dr. Nadeem-ul-haq, Chairman, SECP Mr. Muhammad Ali, Tax Reform Core Group Members Mr. Abdullah Yusuf, Mr. Arshad Zuberi, Mr. Shabbar Zaidi, Mr. Ashfaq Tola, Mr. Ali Jameel Yousuf and Mr. Mohammad Arshad Chaudhry.

During the meeting, FBR performance was reviewed and budget proposals were deliberated on. The Group recommended that the tax base be broadened, documentation increased and gradual shift away from presumptive tax regime with increase in rate for presumptive tax regime towards eventual reduction in tax rate under normal tax regime.

TRCG discussed proposed changes in implementation of Capital Gain Tax aimed at simplifying the mechanism, improvement in its enforcement and broadening of the tax base. The Committee formed an “Implementation Group” consisting of TRCG members, FBR officials and SECP representatives to ensure implementation in line with the law.
Revenue performance of FBR was also reviewed in detail. Chairman FBR, Mr. Mumtaz Haider Rizvi apprised the Group of the taxes collected under various heads and administrative measures taken till date and the way forward for the remainder of financial year 2012.

The TRCG was apprised that up to February 22, the collection stood at Rs. 1068 Billion, which is 26% higher than the collection of Rs. 847 Billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

Earlier, Dr. Hafeez Shaikh, while addressing the meeting, said that the guiding principles of the forthcoming Federal Budget should be to continue with the approach of simplification of taxes, avoidance of increase in taxes or the rates of taxes, fiscal incentives for growth and generation of investment and employment. He emphasized the need for an accelerated drive for direct tax collection while providing relief for the existing taxpaying citizens.     

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Amna Khalifa and members of the Board, Sardar Aminullah Khan, Member (Enforcement & Accounting), Mr. Shahid Hussain Asad, Member (IR), Ms. Riffat Shaheen Qazi, Member (FATE), Ms. Azra Mujtaba, Member (SP&S), Mr. Mohammad Raza Baqir, member (Admn), Hafiz Mohammad Anees, Member (Taxpayer Audit), Mr. Mohammad Nisar, Chief Collector (North), Mr. Humayun Khan Skindari, DG (PCA), Mr. Shahid Rahim Shekh, Additional Secretary, Revenue Division and Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad, GM PRAL .