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Naqvi to head Tax reforms commission

Naqvi to head Tax reforms commission

ISLAMABAD: With the aim to bringing in drastic reforms in the prevailing tax system, the federal government, at last, named renowned chartered accountant Masoud Naqvi as head of the Tax Reforms Commission (TRC).
It is to be noted that the establishment of Tax Reforms Commission (TRC) was announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in his budget speech in June.
A notification in this regard is likely to be issued soon.
Naqvi got preference over two other distinguished names considered for the job. Reportedly the Finance Minister also pondered over the name of Supreme Court Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed who is nearing retirement.
Naqvi, a FCA, is the senior partner at KPMG Taseer Hadi and Company and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP). Naqvi had been president of ICAP and chief of the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC).
In his budget speech, Dar announced to constitute a TRC aimed at rationalising all the taxes to make the system more transparent. According to experts, the corporate and individual income tax system was against the principles of fairness. The system lessens the burden on one segment of society at the expense of the other. Similarly, import tariffs are structured in a manner that protect a few pampered industries and discourage competition and entrance of new players in the market.
The minister had also announced that members of the commission will comprise of public finance experts, practitioners, businessmen, tax lawyers and retired civil servants.
Other members of the commission are Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa, Member Strategic Planning at FBR Mohammad Nisar (who will act as secretary to the commission), members of chambers of commerce and industries and tax bar associations.
Ashfaq Tola, another renowned tax expert, has also been appointed as TRC member. Tola has made a comprehensive study to reform the general sales tax system into a single-stage sales tax structure, according to FBR officials. The study has proposed the government to reduce the sales tax rate to approximately 7 percent.