Pakistani expert among 25 appointed to UN Tax Committee

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UITED NATIONS, Jul 22 (APP): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed a distinguished group of 25 tax experts from around the world, including Pakistan, to serve as members of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters for the 2021 to 2025 term, according to an announcement .

The Pakistani expert named to the committee is: Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, who is the Director General of the International Taxes, Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad.

The UN Chief’s Deputy Spokesman, Farhan Haq, who made the announcement at the regular noon briefing, said that the UN Tax Committee guides countries’ efforts to advance stronger and more forward-looking tax policies adapted to the realities of globalized trade and investment, an increasingly digitalized economy and worsening environmental degradation.

The committee, he said, assisted countries in their efforts to prevent double or multiple taxation as well as non-taxation, broaden their tax base, strengthen their tax administrations, and curb international tax evasion and avoidance.

In welcoming the appointments, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram said, “I am delighted to see that such a diverse and capable group of experts has been appointed”.

“I have high expectations for the Committee’s continued success in challenging times, which are nevertheless full of opportunity to stem the tide of tax-related illicit financial flows and shore up developing country capacities to mobilize and invest domestic resources in their own development,” he added.

The UN Tax Committee fosters international cooperation on domestic and international tax matters, according to the announcement. It works closely with observers from government, civil society, business and academia, to develop guidance and encourage an inclusive setting of norms and policies.

The new Committee membership brings together tax practitioners with expertise in a wide range of areas, such as double tax treaties, transfer pricing, avoiding and resolving tax disputes, taxation of the extractive industries, taxation of the digital economy, environmental taxation, and value-added taxes.

While nominated by their Governments, Committee members serve in their personal capacity, it said.

The members of the UN Tax Committee for 2021-2025 are: Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed (Pakistan); Rasmi Ranjan Das (India); Matthew Olusanya Gbonjubola (Nigeria); Liselott Kana (Chile); YoungJoo Lee (South Korea); Waziona Ligomeka (Malawi); Nana Akua Achiaa Amoako Mensah (Ghana); Enrique Bolado Muñoz (Mexico); Kapembwa Elizabeth Namuyemba-Sikombe (Zambia); Marlene Patricia Nembhard-Parker (Jamaica); Eamonn O’Dea (Ireland); Pande Putu Oka Kusumawardani (Indonesia); Mya Mya Oo (Myanmar); El Hadramy Oubeid (Mauritania); Carlos Protto (Argentina); Elisângela Rita (Angola); Aart Roelofsen (Netherlands); Alexander Smirnov (Russia); Stephanie Smith (Canada); Trude Steinnes Sønvisen (Norway); Titia Stolte-Detring (Germany); José Troya (Ecuador); Mario Visco (Italy); Ingela Willfors (Sweden), and Yan Xiong (China) .

The Committee gives special focus to developing countries and their policy environment, the announcement said. The majority of the newly appointed members come from developing countries, and, for the first time since its inception, the Committee has a majority of women experts.

In welcoming the appointment of the new Committee membership, Marcio Verdi, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT), outlined “CIAT’s support of the UN Tax Committee’s valuable work to enhance cooperation and strengthen tax administrations from developing countries, including through the exchange of experiences and best practices among countries and multilateral organizations.”

The first meeting of the new membership of the Committee will take place in October 2021, during which the experts will determine the work plan for their term, according to the announcement.