‘Reforming FBR-priority’, if Authority fails a new one to come
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that reforming Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) is priority on his agenda, but warned that if tax collection authority cannot be fixed, he would create new one.
Reforming FBR is vital. Until that is done, we, the state will not be able to meet expenses, Prime Minister said in an address to 11th All-Pakistan Chambers President Conference in Islamabad.
“This is why we will try our best to fix FBR and I assure business community that I’ve been constantly having discussions and meetings with Abdul Razzaq Dawood and Asad Umar on how to generate revenue and make FBR business-friendly institute.
“But I should also tell you this, if we realise that FBR cannot be fixed, we will create a new FBR. This is because Pakistan’s survival is linked to it. It’s not about our liking or disliking, if our tax collection authority does not function properly, it could lead to a security risk. No nation that relies on loans can maintain its pride and independence, he maintained.
He urged nation to come into tax net, adding that in return he would guarantee that their tax would not be misspent.
“I assure you that each and every penny of Pakistanis’ tax collection will be spent with great caution,” he said. “We will end all unnecessary expenses. But what I want from you is to tell people that it is impossible for any country to succeed without paying their taxes. How can it be that of 210 million Pakistanis only 72,000 declare monthly incomes of Rs 200,000 or more?”
He said that effective tax collection was central to any country’s independence as “constant borrowing to make ends meet” eventually becomes a threat to its sovereignty.
The premier said he could even be open to slashing down taxes to extend tax net but stressed that “paying taxes should be considered a national duty”.
He assured business community that his government would do all he could to facilitate them, indicating that “some more incentives are coming your way in upcoming days”.