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Cabinet approves revival of FBR policy board

Cabinet approves revival of FBR policy board

ISLAMABAD: The tax policymaking powers will soon be given to the finance ministry as the federal cabinet has approved the revival of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) policy board.

The cabinet took the decision in its last meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Though the board came into being under the FBR Act amended in 2011, but it could not be implemented in its letter and spirit for the past many years.

“The policy board into FBR could not hold its single meeting in the last seven years despite the fact that it was mandated under the law to hold at least one meeting in every quarter of a financial year,” a senior official said.

The government intended to separate policy and operation into the FBR with the intention to put policy into jurisdiction of the ministry of finance.

The FBR has so far been facing shortfall in the range of Rs60 to 70 billion in achieving its revised target for the current fiscal year and there are projections that if something concrete is not done on immediate basis the revenue shortfall might touch to the tune of Rs200 billion for the whole fiscal year.

The government envisaged FBR tax collection target of Rs4.398 trillion for the current fiscal year.

According to the FBR officials, the policy board would be revived when the nomination from all the sides would be completed. It might take few weeks for re-constitution of the policy board, they added.

The 11-member policy board will comprise minister for finance as chairman, federal ministers for commerce, industries, textile, and privatisation, chairmen senate standing committee on finance, National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue and FBR, one member from the senate nominated by the Chairman Senate, one member from National Assembly nominated by Speaker National Assembly and such other members as Prime Minister will nominate from private and public sectors on honorary basis.

FBR chairman will act as secretary of the policy board, which will hold a meeting at least once in each quarter of a fiscal year.