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ISLAMABAD, Dec 09 (APP): Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said Wednesday that Pakistan has achieved important milestones in transparency and exchange of information.

Addressing the Plenary Meeting of the Global Forum on “Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes 2020”, organized by OECD, the adviser appreciated the technical support extended by the Global Forum and the UK Government, which he said was instrumental in implementing the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

At present, Pakistan is one of the few developing countries among the early adopters of the CRS and began exchanging data with partner jurisdictions in less than 02 years, he added, according to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

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The Adviser outlined that Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information (EOI) are powerful tools to enhance tax compliance.

“Pakistan is firmly committed to fighting tax evasion and other illicit financial flows and need more international cooperation for cross-border assistance in tax recovery,” he added.
The Adviser also briefed the forum about the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by the Government to mitigate sufferings of the vulnerable groups.

During COVID-19, Government of Pakistan introduced “Smart Lockdown” to contain the spread of the disease with the need to keep the economy functional.

The Smart Lockdown approach by the Government of Pakistan was acknowledged worldwide. The Smart Lockdown allowed many businesses to re-open or continue operations on limited scale to lessen the adverse economic impact during testing times.

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The Government of Pakistan gave cash payments to 15 million families under “Ehsaas Emergency Cash Payments.”

Amid COVID-19, the Government has taken several initiatives to accelerate economic recovery. A relief package for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) shielded against insolvency and joblessness.

Similarly, a special package was announced to boost Construction sector which included amnesty scheme, tax exemption and Rs 33 billion subsidy to stimulate economic growth.

Pakistan has registered an upward trend in foreign remittances and FDI during first quarter of FY-2020-21.

The Government is firmly committed to correct fundamentals of the economy through effective policy making and targeted reforms, he said adding the end goal was to achieve sustainable economic growth, he concluded.