World Bank Endorses FBR’s Digitalization Push for Tax Administration Reform

In a meeting with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Amjed Zubair Tiwana, World Bank Vice President Martin Raiser commended the FBR’s digitalization efforts for tax administration reform. The World Bank delegation, including Country Director Najy Benhassine and Lead Country Economist Tobias Akhtar Haque, expressed appreciation for FBR’s initiatives under the Pakistan Raises Revenue Project.

Focus on Sales Tax Harmonization, Track & Trace, and ICT

During the meeting, FBR officials presented a detailed overview of their reform agenda, highlighting key projects like sales tax harmonization, a track and trace system, and improvements in FBR’s information and communication technology (ICT) capabilities. These initiatives are part of the Pakistan Raises Revenue Project, a collaborative effort aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s tax collection system.

Digitalization for Increased Revenue and Informed Decisions

Raiser emphasized the potential of these digitalization efforts to significantly improve tax collection. He highlighted the importance of gradually eliminating tax exemptions while introducing targeted social assistance programs and a consumption-based sales tax system. This approach would broaden the tax base and ensure a more equitable distribution of the tax burden.

Collaboration for Sustainable Tax Revenue Growth

Chairman Tiwana reaffirmed FBR’s commitment to working with all stakeholders to achieve digitalization and a broader tax base. He emphasized that digitalization is crucial not only for increasing revenue but also for enabling data-driven decision making to ensure sustainable tax collection growth. The World Bank, through Raiser, expressed its support for FBR’s digitalization drive, recognizing it as an opportunity to strengthen their collaborative efforts.

Overall, the meeting signifies a strong partnership between the FBR and the World Bank in promoting digitalization and broader tax reforms for a more efficient and equitable tax system in Pakistan.

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