ISLAMBAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday directed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to facilitate the tax filers and take strict measures against non-filers and tax evaders in the budget for the next financial year.

He made these remarks while chairing a meeting to review the latest position of revenue collection and budget related proposals of the FBR. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, Haroon Akhtar Khan was also present on the occasion.

Chairman FBR Nisar Mohammad Khan updated the meeting on the state of revenue collection. He said in line with the instructions given by the finance minister, all out efforts are being made to achieve the target of Rs. 3104 billion for the current fiscal year. He said the revenue collection so far is very encouraging and makes FBR confident that the target for FY 2015-16 would be met.

The meeting was given a briefing about the FBR proposals for the budget 2016-17. Chairman FBR said that different stakeholders including chambers of commerce and industries, traders, businessmen, professionals, experts and think tanks have been thoroughly consulted before formulating the proposals. He said the exercise has been very fruitful in obtaining inputs for the budget 2016-17.

The finance minister appreciated the hard work put in by FBR team for formulating budget proposals and interaction with stakeholders. He added that while finalizing the proposals the government’s drive for economic growth must be kept in mind. Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and FBR attended the meeting.

Dar for reviewing markup rates on agri credit

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar urged upon the public sector financial institutions like NBP and ZTBL to review the markup rates for agriculture credit, particularly in view of the reduction in overall policy rate recently announced by the State Bank of Pakistan.

Finance minister chaired a meeting here to review the provision of agriculture credit, particularly by public sector banks to the farmers. Secretary Finance, Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan, CEOs of National Bank of Pakistan and Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance attended the meeting.

In the meeting, issues pertaining to agriculture sector, particularly losses incurred by the agriculturists in respect of cotton and rice crops were discussed. It was also pointed out that the markup rates charged on agriculture credit by the banks need to be reviewed.

The heads of the banks assured that they will immediately finalize specific measures for increasing availability of agricultural credit and rationalize markup rates, which will enhance agricultural growth in the country.