FBR... By Shahryar
14 September, 2012
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is one of the biggest organisations of the government of Pakistan, spread across various locations across the country. Unfortunately, it has only managed to collect tax from 0.5 percent of Pakistan's total population of 190 million. Over the years, the FBR has utilised a number of international donor-funded improvement projects, mostly on loan, which was to be paid from the taxpayers' money, but to date it has not managed to add more than three million (1.5 percent) to the National Tax Number list. On the other hand, the relatively younger office of the Election Commission of Pakistan has verified more than 90 Million (47 percent) voters already. If the current tax base is increased from 1.5 percent to 50 percent, then Pakistan will not need the aid or loans of any other nation or organisation in the future. The people of Pakistan will not need to pay high sales tax or import taxes or even high petrol/diesel cost, etc.
But before we take any drastic measures, I do have a solution for this conundrum. The current president of Pakistan or the head of the FBR can impose an Act for each employee being paid from the FBR budget that each employee would add 50 new taxpayers to the NTN list by the end of three months. And whoever fails to provide the details of the required number of new taxpayers in the required time would be removed from service the same day. Each new record should have the company number of the person providing the data, and if the data provided is found to be fake, then the person who provided this information will be removed from service.
The FBR has around 52,000 employees. If this programme is run for one year, for three months each time, then by the end of the year the FBR will have 10.5 Million (5.5 percent) new tax payers on record, a new achievement for the FBR to have at least five percent of the population as its tax base. Also on the plus side, all those employees who fail to help in the increase of the tax base of Pakistan will be removed from service and this will help reduce the extra costs at FBR, as only hardworking and honest employees will be left in one of the most important institutions for Pakistan's successful future.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER