Finance Minister urges FBR to broad the tax base in real time

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while chairing the 2nd Chief commissioners conference urged the Federal Board of Revenue to broad the tax base in real time.

Mr Dar was chairing a session at the Chief Commissioners Conference to review the revenue collection peformance in the first quarter of this fiscal year.

FBR Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Iqbal told  that the broadening of tax base in real terms means to focus on revenue generation instead of increasing the number of returns with the minimum revenue potential.

The FBR has launched an intensive drive to increase the total number of return filers this year. Last year, 1.2 million people filed their tax returns.

An official source said that the revenue growth recorded in the first quarter was mainly led by massive growth in revenue collection from the petroleum sector.

Petroleum prices were kept unchanged last year due to political pressure, which led to over Rs100 billion shortfall in revenue collection from the sector.

Similarly, the import bill also surged during the period under review. The rise in the import bill led to higher revenue collection, the official said. The FBR collects customs duty, sales tax and withholding tax at the import stage.

The collection of sales tax on domestic products was mainly led by the petroleum products.

But the FBR spokesperson said that growth was recorded in almost all taxes.

According to the official source, almost all regional tax offices and large taxpayer units (LTUs) have achieved their respective tax targets for the first quarter. However, the LTUs in Lahore and Islamabad fell behind their respective targets.

The chief commissioners of Lahore and Islamabad LTUs were asked to work hard for achieving their targets in the second quarter, the official said.