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Applying IT solutions to check tax evasion: Asad Umar

Applying IT solutions to check tax evasion: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Asad Umer on Wednesday said that government is working on restructuring of fundamentals of economy and strengthening the regulatory regimes by putting the best professionals of the country as well as overseas Pakistanis on their policy boards.

Addressing a two-day “Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit”, he said that government had formed a five-member committee to select best professionals in a transparent manner to improve the working efficiencies of government organizations.

He said it will eventually improve functional efficiency of all national institutions to attain sustainable long-term economic development in the country.

He informed that regulatory regime has been strengthened as best professionals of the field were taken on the policy board of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. In order to promote the friendly tax culture and facilitating the tax-payers, for the first time members from the private sector had been included in the policy board of FBR, he added.

Besides, he said that the government had also appointed overseas Pakistanis as heads of different national organization including National Bank of Pakistan, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, NIT and other national institutions on merit without any political consideration.

Asad Umer said that small and medium sector enterprises were facing access-to-credit issues and government was taking steps to address these problems by facilitating the supply and ensuring the provision of easy loans.

The Finance Minister said that government  is also upgrading the technology in order to overcome tax theft issue and by the next month track and trace system would be installed. In the first phase, the system would be applied in tobacco sector to check the under-invoicing, he added.

He said that communication among the data collecting authorities including National Registration and Database Authority and FBR would be further strengthened to bring the potential tax payers under tax net.

He said that government had provided facilities to export sector and the outcomes from the textile sector would commence by April and it was expected that exports would increase, adding the agreement with China would also be finalized which would also help in promoting the local exports.

The minister said that long term financing for textile sector would also be increased which currently stood at Rs1.5 billion.

Speaking on the occasion, Advise to Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile Industry said that government was taking steps to promote SMEs and reduced taxes on the import of raw material used in these SMEs.

He said that government is making amending in Duty and Tax Remission Scheme (DTRE), adding draft of the amendments are finalized and soon it would be approved.

He said that government is also taking steps for industrial sector development to produce export surplus and discouraging the imports which was putting extra burden on foreign exchange reserves.