LAHORE - Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin has said that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would be revamped and the private sector would also be made part and parcel of the board. He said that nothing has been finalised with the IMF so far and hoped that the IMF would endorse Pakistan's programme. He further said that he himself was unable to fully comprehend the tariff structure of electricity and gas and asserted that the tariff should be same for all the consumers. He said that the core inflation is about 17 per cent in the country, which must be brought down to 5 per cent, considered as ideal. Shaukat Tarin spelled out his priorities while addressing the business community here at the Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday. 'The present power tariff structure is very complicated. I cannot understand why the TV fee has been added in the electricity tariff when it has nothing to do with that', Tarin maintained. He said there should be only one tax-collecting agency and two taxes-Income Tax and Value Added Tax. He said everybody including businessmen, doctors, agriculturists, stockists of stock exchange and self-employed would be brought into the tax net. 'People will have incentives to pay taxes and the tax will be collected without harassing anybody', he asserted. He also said the govt would also focus on the construction of new dams to overcome the energy shortage. About the priorities of his govt for the economic revival of the country, he said agriculture is the top priority of the present govt. He said the areas of core concern have been clearly marked and would be taken care of in the future line of action. He maintained that the balance of payments would come to equilibrium in the next two years as the import of food and oil is being reduced. 'We also need slow inflation environment', he added. Shaukat Tarin said in the past the policies were made in isolation and without proper consultation of stakeholders but the present govt would involve all the stakeholders in the review process of policies in a bid to make them result-oriented. He stressed the need for administrative reforms, saying the administrative machinery is not as motivated as it should be. 'Though it is a difficult job but the govt has decided to upgrade the administration'. While calling for an integrated energy plan, he said electricity and gas rates for the all segments of society should be the same as different tariff slabs are burdening various sectors unduly. He said both the development and non-development expenditures should be curtailed so that the money could be used for the well-being of the country. Shaukat Tarin said the present regime was determined to bring about economic turnaround after taking the business community and other stakeholders into confidence. He maintained there is solid base for robust growth and the govt is taking appropriate steps for addressing the concerns of local and foreign investors. He said the local and foreigners would be provided equal opportunities. He said the govt is working on an integrated plan for stabilising the macro-economic indicators, checking core inflation, bringing down fiscal deficit, improving revenue collection with simplification of tax collection system, promoting agriculture sector through a comprehensive package, putting in place an integrated energy plan, enhancing tax to GDP ratio, curtailing non-developmental expenditures, consolidating industry and strengthening of capital market. He said that Planning Commission is being strengthened, as we wanted to strengthen the institutional framework so that things could be streamlined and effective planning in consultation with the stakeholders could be made. In the past, he said short-term, mid-term and long-term plans were made but these were made in isolation and that was the reason the set objectives could not be achieved. Through these plans, no coherent strategy was evolved for the betterment of industry, he added. Tarin further said that some serious issues are confronting the country's economy for which the govt is paying due attention while the business community should also ponder on these issues. Talking about poverty in the country, he said poverty level in the country has gone up from 12 per cent to 20 per cent since 2005. He said the present govt is committed to address problems of those people living below the poverty line by fulfilling their food requirements, apart from providing them proper health, education and other facilities. 'Our industry needs consolidation to meet the challenges', he said. He also floated the idea of formation of Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) whose affairs must be regulated through the private sector people and the govt would restrict extending funds to it. He also said the industrialists could get much benefits through Bond Market, which must be introduced. He further said that private sector of India is efficient and we need to study the Indian model to strengthen our base. Earlier speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Muhammad Ali Mian said the industry has become uncompetitive and is experiencing closures due to 12 to 15 hours a day loadshedding, high cost of doing business, high cost of raw materials and energy, high cost of money due to excessively tight monetary policy and high banking spreads, unstable law and order situation as well as complex taxation, legal and regulatory system etc. He said despite the massive reduction in the prices of various imported raw materials like steel and petro-products including chemicals, dyes and plastic raw materials the FBR is still assessing their duties on the basis of LC prices that are substantially higher than the current international prices as a result of global economic slow-down. LCCI President Muhammad Ali Mian, Senior Vice President Mian Muzaffar Ali, Vice President Shafqat Saeed Piracha and former Presidents including Tariq Hameed, Mian Tajammal Hussain, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Bashir A Buksh, Mian Misbahur Rehman and former Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari and former Vice Presidents Aftab Ahmad Vohra and Mubasher Sheikh also spoke on the occasion. Provincial Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira was also present in the meeting.