The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to set up a new institution called ‘Risk Management Directorate’ to raise the tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio and stop under-invoicing.
The board has also proposed that vacancies of officers and lower staff be filled through the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) so that the politically-sponsored hiring could be stopped.
According to an FBR document, the board is considering various proposals to increase tax receipts and raise the tax-to-GDP ratio, including stopping under-invoicing.
The board has noted that in addition to the setting up of the Risk Management Directorate, there is a need to strengthen the post-clearance audit department.
The document pointed out that the information technology (IT) department at FBR was weak and raised questions on how FBR could automate the system with so many important positions remaining vacant. It also noted that officers avoided getting posted at the board’s headquarters due to a lack of facilities, particularly insufficient residences and cars.
The document suggested that officers should spend time in Karachi, where most of the revenue is generated. It also proposed the commerce and trade group be merged with the customs group so facilities could be made available to customs officers. However, a consensus has not yet been reached on it.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2011.
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