Automating the FBR will increase government revenue.

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Former President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt, said on Monday that the PM’s choice to place the burden of difficult decisions on the elite instead of the poor masses is admirable. He said that the state of the economy and the general populace would have been different if a decision of this nature had been made several decades earlier.

Shahid Rashid Butt said in a statement issued here that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif understands the importance of the National Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which is poised to promote investment in the country. The PM also understands the importance of cordial relations between the centre and provinces and with neighbouring countries, and he is aware of the impact of inflation and people’s worries.

PM Shahbaz Sharif also knows running the country is only possible with painful reforms and improving infrastructure.

He is making serious efforts to attract investment while increasing the tax base. He thinks raising the revenue collection target, which is Rs9 trillion, can be increased to Rs14 trillion if the FBR is automated. The more automated the FBR system will be, the more transparent it will be, reducing public complaints and increasing government revenue.

Shahid Rashid Butt said that, as usual, even at this time, billions of rupees in revenue and claim cases are pending in the courts. If such cases are decided soon, the government can get more than 100 billion rupees, which will solve many problems.

Because the PM can only give little time to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) due to his busy schedule, he has handed this committee over to the finance minister, which is a very laudable move. In addition to maintaining macroeconomic stability, supporting sustainable growth, lowering income inequality, and tackling structural economic difficulties, the finance minister should prioritise fixing the tax system.

Pakistan’s problems are a direct result of its undocumented economy, which is roughly identical to the one documented. This is why the country’s overall tax-to-GDP ratio struggles at 10-11 percent despite its 250 million population.

ECC is the most important committee, and it usually includes the Ministers of Finance, Economic Affairs, Commerce, Power, Petroleum, and Planning.


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