Our Special Correspondent
LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi has said that there is a pressing need to bring the country out of an economic malaise and to tap Pakistan’s significant potential for internal resource mobilization.
He was addressing a day long workshop sponsored by the World Bank was held to mark the closing of Federal Board of Revenue’s five-year reform program titled ‘Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Accelerating Growth and Reforms’ (2015-19) (TAGR).
The workshop was attended by Members of FBR including Dr. Jawwad Uwais Agha (Member Customs Operations), Dr. Hamid Ateeq Sarwar (Member IR-Policy), Mr. Mustafa Sajjad Haider (Member FATE) and Mr. Javed Ghani (Member Customs-Policy) as well as senior officers from Customs and Inland Revenue. Other participants included representatives of the World BankMr. Muhammad Waheed (Chief Economist, World Bank), Mr. K. Migara O. De Silva (Senior Economist, World Bank) and Mr. Charles Blanco (Senior Governance Specialist), DFID and HMRC.
The Chairman FBR spoke about the significance of tax reforms and the commitment of the Federal Board of Revenue to implement crucial reforms in tax policy and administration.
Ms. Patricia Seex, Head of Economic Group, DFID Pakistan, endorsing the views of Chairman FBR, spoke about DFID’s Revenue Mobilisation, Investment and Trade (ReMIT) Program.Mr. Raul Felix, Lead Public Sector Specialist, World Bank, spoke about the key achievements of TAGR and the need to carry forth the reform agenda through the recently launched World Bank sponsored ‘Pakistan Raises Revenue’ Program. The key elements of this five-year program (2019-23) were highlighted by Ms. Ambreen Iftikhar, Program Director. She emphasised the importance of government’s commitment to the reform process and need for political support for the current reform agenda. Mr. Mumtaz Ali Khoso (Collector Customs, Port Qasim, Karachi) presented an overview of Customs Five Year Strategic Plan while the ‘Way Forward and TA Needs for Customs’ were elaborated upon by Mr. Ahmad Rauf (Collector of Customs Preventive, Lahore).Ms. Adeela Bokhari, Chief TAGR, informed the audience about the future technical assistance needs of Inland Revenue Service.
The World Bank Group initiated the process of strategic planning of FBR (2019-28) in collaboration with officers of FBR, after concluding a functional review in March 2018. The functional review assessment was complemented with a Business Process Mapping (BPM). The objective of BPM was to map core business processes. Accordingly, the strategic plan for Trust Fund for Accelerating Growth and Reform (TAGR) was discussed at the closing workshop.The final segment of the workshop consisted of a panel discussion on the transformational agenda for FBR. The discussion was chaired by Member Customs Operations, Mr. Jawwad Agha. The topics under discussion included FBR’s governance model, ICT arrangements and information sharing, tax audit model and co-ordination and communication strategy