The decision came in the wake of recent Pakistan’s trade policy review at the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO), where several member countries raised voice over the low ranking of the country in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.
The committee was tasked to suggest measures to facilitate business in the country, including removal of red tape and reduction in the number of steps involved in starting businesses. The committee will have representation from ministry of commerce, Federal Board of Revenue, Board of Investment and all relevant departments.
Revenue collection in July-Feb reaches Rs1,538bn
Dar made announcement while addressing a meeting of the Tax Advisory Council (TAC) at the FBR headquarters here on Saturday.
The minister also announced publication of the second parliamentary tax directory on April 10 which, he said, was a healthy tradition set by the government.
“If we want to enhance business activity, generate more revenue for the national exchequer, we must take measures to enhance ease of doing business and promote value addition,” the minister remarked.
The minister gave a brief overview of the state of economy. However, he said, it was now time to further build on this strong economic edifice. Enhancement of tax net, he said, was important to generate more revenue and strengthen economy.
He said that streamlining the SRO regime was being undertaken as a priority and it would help promote tax culture.
FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa in his remarks said that members of the TAC were specifically asked to put forth suggestions on three areas, namely, expansion of tax base, ease of doing business and enhancing tax revenue.
He said that the FBR had seriously taken up the exercise to expand the tax net, issued notices to 170,000 prospective tax payers and provisional assessment of 44,000 individuals had also been carried out. However, the chairman avoided to disclose the number of people who voluntarily filed the returns.
He also apprised the meeting that revenue collection in July–Feb 2014-15 period had reached Rs1,538bn compared to Rs1,360bn in the same period last fiscal year, thus showing 13pc growth despite plunge in sales tax due to falling oil prices.
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