ISLAMABAD-The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is facing mammoth revenue collection target of Rs960 billion in next three months (October-to December) after missing the first quarter (July-September) target by Rs55 billion.

"The government will decide about the additional revenue generation measures after witnessing the second quarter's performance of the FBR," said an official of the FBR. Pakistan has already agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for announcing mini-budget for meeting its tax collection and budget deficit target. "In case of any further deviation, we would take additional measures in order to achieve our revenue and budget deficit targets".

The FBR had collected Rs631 billion during the July-September quarter of this fiscal year - short of the target by about Rs55 billion.  It is worth mentioning here that government had fixed an uphill target of Rs3621 billion for the ongoing financial year 2016-17. 

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday chaired a meeting to discuss performance of FBR in achieving the revenue collection targets. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Mr. Haroon Akhtar was also present during the meeting. Chairman FBR Nisar Mohammad Khan briefed the Finance Minister about the strategy and measures being adopted for improvement in revenue collection for achieving the annual target of revenue collection assigned to FBR. The chairman said that directives have been issued to the core team members to improve collections .

The Finance Minister directed the FBR team to put in the best efforts for achieving the annual target. He emphasized the importance of enhanced revenue collection in the background of country's need for development and for achieving higher rate of inclusive and sustainable growth. The meeting was also attended by senior officials of Ministry of Finance.

The IMF in its recent report on Pakistan has stated that tax-to-GDP ratio increased by nearly 21/2 percentage points of GDP owing to a significant reduction in tax concessions and exemptions, increased withholding taxes on nonfilers of income tax returns, and improvements in tax compliance and enforcement. Moreover, the administrative authority to grant new tax concessions was markedly restricted

Pakistan's tax-to-GDP ratio remains below comparator emerging market countries, and advancing reforms of tax policy and administration is needed to mobilize additional revenues to support fiscal consolidation and create fiscal space for growth-supporting priority spending. Furthermore, prudently managing current non-priority public expenditures would be important to support medium-term fiscal consolidation

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on Saturday to review the progress on the implementation of the Doing Business Reform Strategy 2016.

Finance Secretary briefed the Finance Minister on the reform measures being taken to cover all the ten Doing Business indicators. These indicators include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering a property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Finance Secretary also briefed the meeting on the proposed way forward for improving the country's ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index. Finance Minister directed that specific actions that are required to be taken for the purpose must be identified along with time lines.

Further, Finance Minister stressed on the need for ensuring coordination with all stakeholders. He directed that every effort should be made to facilitate the foreign as well as domestic investors and businessmen. He said that Pakistan is increasingly being identified globally as a business and investor friendly country. He opined that Pakistan must take full advantage of the improvement in the economy as well as security situation.