ISLAMABAD - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Customs Department of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for issuing electronic forms for imports to curb the menace of under-invoicing and transfer pricing.

SBP Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra and FBR Chairman Nisar Mohammad Khan signed the MoU on behalf of their departments, while Finance Minister Ishaq Dar witnessed signing of the documents.

The use of E-Form will curb the menace of under-invoicing and transfer pricing in addition to integrating the foreign exchange accounting system of the SBP with Customs clearances.

Dar on the occasion appreciated the efforts of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar, FBR chairman and SBP governor for showing excellent coordination that resulted in the signing of the MoU.

The finance minister said that under the leadership of PM Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N government had successfully implemented a number of reforms and the process would continue in future as well.

“Pakistan's economy has taken off and the merger of stock exchange, Pakistan's return to the international bond market and successful completion of a very tough IMF programme are proofs of the same,” he added.

He stated that for the first time in history, Pakistan had successfully completed IMF's Extended Fund Facility programme.

He further said that when he assumed the charge, the foreign exchange reserves were not even enough to finance two weeks' of import bill. “But by the grace of Allah, now the foreign exchange reserves are enough to finance around five months of the import bill,” he elaborated. He said that for the first time, foreign exchange reserves with the SBP had crossed $18 billion.

He pointed out the confidence of foreign investors in the economy by referring to the FDI inflows in livestock and refrigeration industry.

Dar further said that the real goal of the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was to consolidate the economy and not to let the economic gains go waste.

He lauded the FBR for going past the target set for revenue generation in the last fiscal year and asked the FBR team to work even harder for achieving current year's target too.

Speaking on the occasion, FBR Chairman Nisar Muhammad Khan welcomed the finance minister and stated that there had been excellent coordination between Customs Department and the State Bank of Pakistan, which, he added, had resulted in the automation of issuance of electronic I-Form.

He thanked the minister for the support and encouragement he extended to both the departments that made automation of Customs business process possible.

The SBP Governor, Ashraf Wathra, recalled that such automation and coordination between the two departments could only be seen in the advanced countries. “Pakistan is setting new parameters under the leadership of prime minister and finance minister, and is working to achieve greater national goals,” he added.

Haroon Akhtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue informed the meeting that the economy had revived and was moving in the right direction.

He assured that FBR would work even harder in future to meet expectations of the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.