Revenue collection growth helps in fiscal deficit reduction: Dar

ISLAMABAD, July 12 (APP): Finance Minister Senator Mohammad  Ishaq Dar Tuesday said that continuous growth in revenue collection during  the past three years has helped in reducing the fiscal deficit to almost half, from 8.8 % to 4.45 %.

He was addressing a function at Federal Board of  Revenue (FBR), organized to congratulate the FBR team for achieving the difficult revenue collection target of Rs 3404 billion during the fiscal year 2015-16.

Among others, the function was attended by Prime Minister’s Special  Assistant on Revenue Haroon Akhtar, Chairman FBR, Nisar Muhammad Khan and top management and officials of the Finance Ministry and the FBR.

Ishaq Dar said that when the revenue target of Rs 3104 billion was  being set many people thought it to be non-achievable, however he lauded the efforts of the FBR team for not only achieving the target but making surplus collection and achieving Rs 3412 billion.

He said that unlike the past practice, there was no downward revision  in growth target this year and the FBR with hardwork achieved the historic target.

He urged the FBR team to do more for achieving another difficult  target of Rs 3621 billion during the year 2016-17.

He said the revenue collection target for the current fiscal
year has been increased almost by 500 billion, which would be a historic growth.

He said that more work is needed to be done in information technology  sector and mitigating the leakages besides making the Sales Tax system a robust one.

He said that the government had to take difficult decision and make  reforms, adding it had to face resistance, but it did this to lead the country towards progress and development.

He said that the future of Pakistan was brilliant, adding there were  people who used to say that Pakistan would default in 2014, but with the grace of Allah Almighty, Pakistan’s rank scoring has not only gone up from negative to stable but is now ranked as positive by international institutions.

He said that there were times when the country had import bill for  only two months but now the foreign exchange reserves stand at $23 billion.

He said Pakistan is now recognized by the world, although some elements  are still critical of the economic policies.

He, however stressed the need for developing a consensus among all the  political parties on one economic agenda and urged that economy must not be politicized.

He said that materializing the dream of becoming 18th biggest economy  could be achieved in half duration till 2030, provided the economic policies continue with the same pace.

He said that the share of provinces from taxes has increased from  Rs 1200 billion to Rs 1900 billion during the last three years.

The Minister said that about 1200 megawatt electricity would be added  to the national transmission system by the end of 2018.

He said that the investment ratio to GDP has also increased from 12.6  percent to 15.6 percent which would further be enhanced to about 21 percent.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister  on Revenues, Haroon Akhtar said that the critics must observe that the revenue collection target has been achieved.

He said that the FBR would go behind the tax evaders adding that the  low tax ratio to GDP has more to do with mindset of people than the FBR’s performance.

He congratulated the FBR management for achieving the target with  collective efforts.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman FBR Nisar Muhammad Khan said that  the Finance Ministry created enabling environment and provided autonomy to FBR.

He said that the country’s economy has been taken around on growth  path and measures were taken to ensure inclusive growth.

He said the focus of the federal budget this year is on promotion of  exports, agriculture and industry.

He said that efforts would be made to remove loopholes in the tax  collection system besides introducing administrative changes and strengthening audit system.