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FBR will now focus only on tax collection instead of policy making: PM Imran

FBR will now focus only on tax collection instead of policy making: PM Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government had taken away policy-making from FBR and the board will now focus only on tax collection. FBR policy making and decision making were not in the favor of industry.

Speaking to a select group of journalists at PM’s House, he said that Pakistan’s economy consists of the black market, adding there’s a need for reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to strengthen the taxation system. Giving an example of the tobacco industry, he said only two companies were paying 80 percent of the total tax in the industry.

PM Imran said that that menace of smuggling is destroying the economy as well as the country. Pakistan will take up the issue of customs duty on Afghan Transit Trade with Afghan government and customs duty on Afghan Transit Trade items should be received at Port Qasim. PM Imran accused former prime minister Nawaz Sharif of laundering billions of rupees in his children’s name.

Speaking on the financial challenges facing the PTI government, Prime Minister Imran said that there is no easy way out of the prevalent crisis without making tough decisions, and there could be high inflation ahead of potential International Monetary Fund (IMF) package.

Clarifying the controversy surrounding the UAE’s alleged refusal to give oil to Pakistan on deferred payment, Imran said that the UAE had never offered Pakistan oil on deferred payments. The PM also spoke on the performance of the National Accountability Bureau. He said that the bureau was understaffed and lacked resources. “The government is making efforts to strengthen the accountability system in the country to thwart corrupt practices,” he said.

On ties with India, the prime minister said that Pakistan will have to remain alert until the general elections are over in India. ‘There will be security threats till the Indian general election,” he said, adding that there were intelligence reports of possible terror incidents in Balochistan in the backdrop of the Pulwama attack. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has benefitted from the war hysteria in the run-up to the polls, said the PM.