ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has shown concern over massive shortfall in tax collection during first eight months of the ongoing financial year.
The committee members noted that the government could not achieve the tax collection target during ongoing financial year.
However, FBR Chairman Dr Irshad told the committee that FBR has collected Rs2046 billion so far in the current financial year, which is 7 percent higher than the collection for the same period last year. He said the government had set a Rs3621 billion tax collection target for the current fiscal year.
During the meeting, Committee member Asad Umar said that tax collection shortfall had reached Rs180 billion during July-February period of the year 2016-17. Another member of the committee, Abdul Rashid Godil, said the finance minister did not come to the meeting to explain the reason for the tax collection shortfall.
The committee also considered the outcome of the export package announced by the government in the light of FBR policies. The FBR chairman further informed the committee that the FBR is supporting the exporters in this regard.
However, the committee strongly recommended that income tax and sales tax refunds should be released to the concerned on a priority basis for improvement in export volume in the country.
Committee Chairman Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh informed the members that business community is facing problems due to delay for release of refunds by the FBR.
Dr Irshad informed the committee about the implementation status on the recommendation of the Standing Committee regarding reduction in differential of income tax between commercial and industrial importers. He said that FBR is waiting for the comments from the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries in this regard.
FPCCI President Zubair F Tufail, who was present at the meeting, also informed the committee that the FPCCI had already forwarded a letter to the FBR for supporting the proposals already recommended by the committee.
The committee once again directed the FBR chairman to implement the unanimous decision/recommendation of the committee at the earliest. The committee was considering the budgetary proposals in consultation with stakeholders for upcoming budget 2017-18. The proposals from FPCCI and various chambers of commerce and industry were also discussed in detail.
The committee ordered constitution of a four-member sub-committee for further deliberations with stakeholders to finalise the budgetary proposals. The sub-committee will present its report to the main committee within 30 days for submission to the Finance Ministry.