Chaired by Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, the meeting was attended by Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Muhammad Akram and senior officers from the Ministry of Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs, FBR, State Bank Of Pakistan, Customs of Pakistan along with all concerned.
Agenda presented before the Committee included smuggling of LED TVs referred by Chairman Senate, briefing on details of non-performing loans and reasons for increase since July 2018, steps taken to get Pakistan out of the FATF Grey List and details of tax collection 2019-20, increase in number of tax payers and sums of money recovered.
While discussing details of smuggling of LED TVs the Committee was informed that the ongoing momentum of countrywide enforcement operations against smuggling of goods including LED TVs is in full swing, these measures have geared an increase of 40 percent during FY 2018-19 when compared to previous financial years. The main challenge found by the agency has been a ban on recruitment which has now been removed. The Committee stressed the need for training of forces that have been granted anti-smuggling powers such as the Coast Guards and Frontier Corps. Reviewing whether increases in taxes and duties have contributed to a rise in smuggling of goods, the Committee was informed that there is zero percent tax on raw material. This was done specifically to encourage industrialization. The Committee encouraged formulation of legislation for this purpose.
Deliberating over steps taken to get Pakistan out of the FATF Grey List, the Committee was informed that Pakistan is committed to align the country with global financial system and position Pakistan as a reliable partner in countering global ML/TF challenges. Towards this end Pakistan has formalized Internal Action Plan to revamp legal regulatory and supervising framework. It was asserted that legislative re-vamp in banking and financial systems, institutional reorganization and capacity building, addressing enforcement e-govrnance and financial challenges, autonomy of regulatory framework and regimes while ensuring permanency of newly raised structures. In addition to this, Pakistan seeks to revamp the entire AML/CFT Regime. According to FATF assessment Pakistan has largely addressed five out of 27 action items.
Detailing revenue collected during the Financial Year 2019-20 as against a target of PKR 5.5 trillion, the Committee was informed that FBR has collected PKR 1280 billion against a target of PKR 1447 billion which is 16.3 percent higher than the previous year.
Discussing details of increase in number of tax payers in the current financial year the Committee was informed that an increase of 65.2 percent was observed vis-a-vis the corresponding period of last year. The Committee was also informed that out of 2655081 return filers, 888748 new tax payers have been added. The number of individuals that availed Asset Declaration Ordinance 2019 was 124,208. Tax payers of PKR 4.7 billion under the present scheme was also observed.