A World Bank mission, which was due to arrive on July 15, has revised its schedule and will now reach on July 19 to review tax administration reforms programme and strategy being adopted to improve revenue collection.
A source said the bank delayed the visit as it wanted to assess the discussions expected to be held later this month between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the stalled standby loan programme. Besides, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had also sought some time from the bank for finalising its data.
According to FBR documents, the mission will review the changes in the administration framework of FBR and the impact the decrease in the number of FBR members is having on the performance of the revenue collecting body. It will also assess whether the formation of Inland Revenue Service has brought improvement or caused difficulties in the system and whether it has led to an increase in revenue collection.
FBR and WB will also hold deliberations on the fast-track refund system and proposals to remove flaws, if any. The WB team will pay a visit to the Large Taxpayer Unit and Regional Tax Office in Lahore.
A senior FBR official said the meeting of Rs1,588 billion revenue target in fiscal year 2010-11 has not only surprised the countrymen, but also made international lenders happy. During the stay of the review mission, FBR officials will brief them about the strategy adopted to meet the tax target.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.