ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Country Director World Bank Najy Benhassine and the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Asim Ahmad held a meeting on Thursday at FBR Headquarters in Islamabad to review the progress of Pakistan Raises Revenue (PRR) Program during the last financial year.
The World Bank team included the Operations Manager Gailius Draugelis, the Lead Country Economist Tobias Haque, the Senior Economist Lucy Pan, the Public Sector Specialist Irum Touqeer, and the Manager Shabih Ali Mohib.
Member Reforms FBR Ardesher Tariq and members of the project team were also present in the meeting.
It was noted that during the four years of project, significant achievements have been made for sustainable revenue mobilization, taxpayer facilitation and reducing cost of doing business under the PRRP.
In particular, the harmonization of Sales Tax laws and procedures among provinces and the federal government was a landmark achievement with benefits for taxpayers and all revenue authorities.
Other key achievements include reducing cost of doing business by reduction in withholding lines from 58 to 33, increase in the imports & exports through green channel from 35% to 66% and broadening of tax base.
During the meeting, it was stressed that all efforts should be made for achieving the next objective of launching of Single Portal to facilitate Sales Tax Return filing.
It may be noted that FBR has been publishing detailed tax expenditure reports to improve transparency. Both sides agreed to continue the focus on the upgradation of IT infrastructure and automation of FBR and for timely completion of project targets.
The Chairman FBR Asim Ahmad highly appreciated the contributions and efforts put in by the teams on both sides.
The Country Director World Bank also appreciated the progress and termed the GST harmonization as the flagship achievement of FBR.
The FBR and World Bank agreed to continue cooperation in pursing the reforms agenda under the project.