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Op-Ed

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International Customs Day

International Customs Day (ICD) is celebrated around the globe on January 26 every year to highlight and recognise the role of customs officials in maintaining border security of each independent state. International Customs Day is an important landmark as this day provides Customs Administration an opportunity to reaffirm WCO’s mission of enhancing its effectiveness and efficiency. WCO has dedicated 2014 ... Read More »

Pak-India trade talks

ISLAMABAD: After pause of several months, Pakistan and India have resumed trade talks at secretary level in New Delhi in order to promote bilateral trade relations between two neighboring countries. The two arch-rivals which publicly declared their ability to become part of nuclear club during the decade of 90s have been left without no other option but to normalize their ... Read More »

Making tax details public

It is a welcoming step of democratically elected PML (N) led regime that it allows FBR to publish national tax directory of all taxpayers second time in recent history of the country till March 31, 2014. In the wake of dwindling tax-to-GDP ratio and narrowed tax base, now the time has come when precedent will set from top of the ... Read More »

A welcome step

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar has taken a welcoming decision to allow the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for publishing tax directory of Parliamentarians. Under Pakistan’s tax laws, the federal government has granted permission to the FBR to publish such a tax directory of parliamentarians. Now this move will pave the way for convincing other influential ... Read More »

A daunting task

ISLAMABAD: A daunting task has been lying ahead for the tax collection machinery as FBR will have to collect Rs 1445 billion in second half (Jan-June) period to display the desired tax collection target of Rs 2475 on its board on June 30, 2014. In first six months (July-Dec) period of the current fiscal year, FBR had collected Rs 1030 ... Read More »

Only a powerful Economic Advisory Council can fix financial problems

ISLAMABAD: With constitution of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) placed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the government seems serious to take different independent economists and divergent voices into confidence in the process of formulating policies to fix the economic problems. One thing should be made crystal clear that the economy of Pakistan could not run with the approach of status quo ... Read More »

Non-tax paying ruling elite

It has long been known that our parasitic ruling elite are not in the habit of paying taxes. They make tall claims about representing the people, they enjoy all the perks and privileges of power and they exercise their right of vote to impose tax on the poor people. But when it comes to fulfill their own tax obligation to ... Read More »

Tax reforms: What needs to be done?

ISLAMABAD: Tax reforms in Pakistan have largely remained a problematic area as after recent attempt during the Musharraf regime, it resulted into decline in tax-to-GDP ratio. Under Tax Administration Reform Project (TARP) funded by World Bank in shape of loan and UK based DFID through grants helped FBR for constructing brick and mortars by constructing beautiful buildings, purchasing vehicles but ... Read More »

An onerous task

The Federal Board of Revenue has been assigned the onerous task of implementing and monitoring the new tax incentives scheme recently announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The incentives scheme comprises a slew of measures designed to broaden the tax base and stimulate investment in the country. These include exemption from penalties, default surcharge and detailed audit for those bringing ... Read More »

Tax incentive package a step in right direction

ISLAMABAD: The tax incentive package announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a good step in the right direction but it requires in-depth analysis whether it will provide any benefit to kick-start economic activities or will prove to be another eye wash for sharing benefits to just few business cronies of the incumbent regime. If one analyzed historical prospective of ... Read More »

Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves at lowest ebb

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s official foreign currency reserves have decreased to lowest ebb by touching $2.9 billion and putting pressure on exchange rate and causing price hike on imported items. This peculiar situation is moving rapidly towards the worst scenario as exchange companies have threatened to go on strike for indefinite period if the central bank remained unable to provide them foreign ... Read More »

Govt’s vigorous privatization plan

ISLAMABAD: The PML (N) led government is heavily relying upon pursuing vigorous privatization plan by off-loading shares of 32 public sector enterprises and handing over management control into hands of buyers in the first phase under IMF’s conditions. In the calendar year 2014, the government seems interested to off-load shares of 10 to 12 institutions including national flag carrier PIA. ... Read More »

Effective enforcement need of the hour

ISLAMABAD: The improved performance of tax collection machinery (FBR) can make a real difference in terms of displaying a tag of success for IMF’s sponsored bailout package of $6.67 billion for Pakistan’s ailing economy under Extended Fund Facility (EFF). This 36-months program of IMF will be derailed if FBR fails in improving stagnant tax-to-GDP ratio by broadening of narrowed tax ... Read More »

Achieving the tax target

Despite the difficult history of revenue collection over the last few years, the government set the ambitious target of Rs.2475 billion for the current year. The original tax collection target in the 2012-13 budget was Rs2,381 billion which was later revised downward to Rs2,191 billion. Half way through the year the target was further slashed to Rs2,050 billion and then ... Read More »

Reforming FBR

Reform and restructuring of FBR is once again in the news.  According to a report, the Bureau   has constituted a high-level committee to determine the core functions of the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation Inland Revenue and Directorate General of Internal Audit to avert overlapping of functions and organisational restructuring of the agency. At a recently held meeting of ... Read More »

Declining forex reserves: Closing the trade gap the only answer

There is a growing gap between exports and imports, putting an unbearable pressure on the balance of payments. Of the myriad challenges facing the national economy, the most formidable is its vulnerable external position. The widening trade gap, steadily falling financial inflows and debt repayments have led to a marked drawdown of the forex reserves. According to the data released ... Read More »

Revenue from imports

According to FBR’s official data, the country’s overall imports increased by 12 percent in dollar terms in the first quarter of the current financial year but the value of dutiable imports recorded a decline of 6.5 percent. An example of this is a fall of 23 percent in the import of auto parts and vehicles during the period under review. ... Read More »

Kamil Museum tells the story of Customs from 1878 to date

KARACHI: One of the treasures of Pakistan Customs lies hidden in the Directorate of Training and Research Building. It is known as ‘The Kamil Museum of Customs’. It is an embodiment of the process of evolution of customs in Pakistan, and a testament to its vital role in the national economy. The museum has been named after Mr Kamil Hassan, ... Read More »

FBR Year Book 2012-13 paints a bleak picture of revenue collection

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s tax-to-GDP ratio had dropped drastically to 8.5 percent during last financial year 2012-13 from 9.1 percent the preceding year 2011-12 mainly due to the dismal performance of tax authorities which missed the annual revenue collection target by Rs 442 billion. According to ‘Year Book 2012-13’, Federal Board of Revenue collected Rs. 1939 billion during previous fiscal year as ... Read More »

Port of Salalah earns global recognition

MUSCAT: A recent study released by the US-based JOC Group, which includes the Journal of Commerce, and the PIERs data service, has declared the port of Salalah as the sixth top trans-shipment port globally and 18th top port globally. According to the study, the port has also been successful in bagging a number of high positions in various categories in ... Read More »