ISLAMABAD: A two-day meeting of the National Tax Reforms Commission (NTRC) kicked off here the other day with discussions on policy matters of income tax, sales tax, customs duty, anti-smuggling strategy, reforms in the tax administration and others.
A well-placed source at Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) told this scribe here that Member Administration, Member Inland Revenue (IR) Operations and Member Inland Revenue (IR) Policy gave their presentations to the commission.
In his presentation, the source said that Member Admin briefed the commission about two subjects namely Personnel Management and General Administration. “The General Administration relates to the available physical infrastructure and its future requirements whereas the personal management is about current vacancy position from grade 17-22 and support staff comprising on various cadres which is over 22000,” the source added, saying that the issues pertaining to their career development was also discussed and needs for future expansions before the commission. Moreover, the source said that official business frame work of FBR with Revenue Division and Finance Ministry was also introduced.
Similarly, the source said that the Member Inland Revenue (IR) Operations briefed the NTRC about sales tax operations and administration and told that main contributor to national exchequer was still sales tax but efforts were being made to reduce its share in overall national collection. Meeting also discussed for administrative proposals.
Moreover, the source observed that Member Inland Revenue (IR) Policy shared issues pertaining to income tax operation and policy with the commission and told that share of direct tax improved over last few years, which was over 46% at present. The meeting observed that FBR should focus on enhance its share in national exchequer to reduce burden from poor people. “The NTRC meeting will continue today Tuesday also and Member Customs & Member Strategic Policy and Statistics and Member Audit will present briefings about their respective departments before the commission,” the source added ,saying that objective of the two meeting was to apprise the members of the commission about FBR’s recommendations in the tax reforms.
It is pertinent to note here that NTRC in its previous meeting, made it clear to consider macro issues and not to take-up micro issues pertaining to specific taxpayers or group of taxpayers unless they would nexus with the macro issues.
It is interesting to mention that the government constituted 20-member ‘National Tax Reforms Commission’ to facilitate the general public about taxation issues and upgrading the current taxation system some three months ago with purpose to undertake, review and rationalization of direct and indirect taxes; customs tariff rationalization; review of autonomy and administrative structure of Federal Board of Revenue and creation of border force to deal with illegal movement of persons and goods across the international borders. It was given 120 days time to finalise recommendations on aforesaid subjects.