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Govt Clears Way To Obtain $400 Million Loan To Double Number Of Taxpayers

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has cleared the way to obtain a foreign loan of $400 million to double the number of taxpayers, reported Express Tribune on Tuesday.

“The concept clearance proposal of FBR’s project ‘Domestic Resource Mobilisation’ worth $400 million was also given approval by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP),” a statement issued by the Ministry of Planning and Development said.

The move aims to increase tax collection to 17 percent of the size of Pakistan’s economy. Tribune said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has been critical of foreign loans but is using the same means to double the taxpayers when ‘it can be done without use of loans’.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has sought a loan of $400 million, of which $320 will be used to achieve certain targets. The loan will be used to boost the taxpayer percentage to 17 percent by 2023 and increasing the active taxpayers from 1.8 million to four million.

To counter tax evasion by unregistered people and under-declaration by the existing taxpayers, FRB needs new equipment and software to keep track of the data of taxpayers.

In February, it was revealed that the FBR was facing difficulties in achieving its tax collection target worth Rs4.4 trillion as it suffered losses worth Rs191 billion in ten big sectors during the first seven months of FY 2018-19.

FBR collected Rs2060.75 billion taxes during July to Dec 2018-19 which is Rs191 billion short of its own target set for the first seven months. However, total tax collections witnessed 3% growth as compared to the same period of FY 2017-18.

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Naya Daur