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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday informed the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that the FBR will be transformed into a digital tax administration through automation of its processes and digitalizing of the economy.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) mission visited the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday and met FBR leadership who have been assisting in the implementation of the Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM) program.

The mission was led by Tariq Niazi, Senior Director ADB from Manila and included Laisiasa Tora, Senior Public Sector Management Specialist, Sana Masood, (Economist) and Farzana Noshab (Economist). Mir Badshah Khan Wazir, Member (IR Operations), Ardsher Salim Tariq, Member (Reforms and Modernization), Qasim Raza Member (IT), Karamatullah Chaudhry, Member (Digital Initiative), and Arbab Muhammad Tariq, Member (Legal-IR) were also present in the meeting.

The mission’s objectives included discussion on structural and policy reforms under the DRM Program funded by the ADB. The ADB showed satisfaction on the successful rolling down of the DRM Program.

It was noted that significant achievements were made in the Sub Program I of the DRM program and due to the dedicated efforts of FBR, $300 Million was disbursed by ADB to the Government of Pakistan in December 2023. Subprogram I laid down the foundations for improved policies, laws, and institutional capacity for the FBR. Subprogram II reforms are to be completed by end 2024 which will build on earlier actions to ensure full implementation and operationalisation.

The FBR apprised the ADB team that the Revenue Division in line with the vision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to transform Federal Board of Revenue into a Digital Tax Administration and keeping pace with global trends, has embarked on a journey of digitalization focused towards automation of its processes and digitalizing of the economy.

These initiatives reduce the cost of compliance of taxpayers, document the economy, expand the tax base and lead FBR on a sustainable path to revenue growth.

FBR will be collaborating with Karandaaz for developing a comprehensive digital strategy for realizing the digital transformation of FBR and its digitalization initiatives and their implementation. Contours of a Digital Tax Administration Project of the FBR with the support of ADB were also discussed and the ADB team showed keen interest in this reform.

Both sides agreed to explore ways to strengthen collaboration in support of Government of Pakistan’s Digital Tax Administration Project.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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