Home Global Village Imran Khan lashes out at FBR for failing to make necessary reforms

Imran Khan lashes out at FBR for failing to make necessary reforms

News Analysis |

Pakistan Tereek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, while addressing textile-sector industrialists on Thursday said that “I am the only Pakistani who collects Rs. 9 billion annually to meet the expenses of my humanitarian projects which reflects the trust of the public in institutions or people, which they can trust.”

Imran continued with his anti-government rhetoric and targeted the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for lacking the capacity and failing to take institution-building initiatives as the government lacked the will to make the required reforms.

Failure to take such initiatives has always resulted in the imposition of indirect taxes, which negatively affects the relevant stakeholders including taxpayers and industrialists, Khan added.

To boost the exports and indulge in serious revamp in Pakistan’s most productive sectors, the government must provide the energy at competitive prices, if it is to avert dependence on foreign institutions and countries for financial support.

While criticizing the policies of FBR, Imran said, “it [FBR] penalizes the genuine taxpayers but lacks the ability to stand against the powerful mafias.” Imran accused FBR of facilitating the mafias by announcing the amnesty schemes which serves the interests of the mafias.

The outspoken leaders of PTI were also briefed on the state of the textile industry by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) chairman Aamir Fayyaz. During a discussion on a policy framework for the textile industry, Khan told APTMA leadership that PTI has incorporated their suggestions in its economic policy documents.

Read more: Why exactly does Imran Khan want early polls?

When APTMA showed concern regarding the surcharges of Rs. 3.50/kWh and demanded the government to withdraw these hefty figures to make it on par with the Rs. 7/KWh charged across the region, Imran Khan assured that if PTI forms the next government, the party will devise an energy strategy which would ensure parity in energy prices across the country to boost the competitiveness of the industry.

Imran argued that since FBR was unable to increase its capacity. The lack of revenues at the governments’ disposal refrained it from charging lower energy prices from industrial zones.

PTI assured the participants of the meeting that any difference between the cost and supply must be borne by the state to make it more competitive. If Pakistani products would be produced at lower cost.

Moreover, there were increasing calls for rampant corruption in the institution. Even, Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has taken notice of increasing corruption and appointment of officers with ‘embarrassingly compromised reputations’ at key positions in FBR.

Speaking of his plans, Khan argued that if PTI came into power, it will increase the capacity of FBR to overcome the crises facing the country. PTI plans to reduce the energy costs and aims to provide all the stakeholders equal chance of success.

Read more: Imran Khan urges Pakistan to reject aid and focus on trade

Though, FBR figures have shown modest improvements as per the press release of the department.  But, it remains controversial as certain segments of the media reported that FBR has been unsuccessful in accomplishing it’s target and rather allegedly covered up the numbers using the withholding taxes.

Asad Umar, the senior leader of PTI also told APTMA members that energy cost was the serious issue for the manufacturing sector and government must facilitate the industry by reducing the energy cost. He announced that PTI has formulated a long-term trade policy and it would supply power at 7.5 cents and LNG at $6.5 mmbtu to the industrial areas.

Imran argued that since FBR was unable to increase its capacity. The lack of revenues at the governments’ disposal refrained it from charging lower energy prices from industrial zones.

Imran also attacked the government for failing the country as he suggested that unemployment in the country is growing rapidly and the government has no plans to tackle it.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif takes a jab at Imran Khan and PTI

Ironically, disqualified PM Nawaz Sharif, while addressing a rally in Azad Kashmir on February 5th said, “if I [Nawaz] were not ousted, there would be no unemployment.” Despite the fact that Nawaz continues to be the chairman of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) and a de facto leader of the country and served the country for nearly 4-years, such statements make a mockery of the system and questions the authenticity of his claims.

PTI assured the participants of the meeting that any difference between the cost and supply must be borne by the state to make it more competitive. If Pakistani products would be produced at lower cost, they would have a better chance of competing with regional competitors like India and Bangladesh.

To boost the exports and indulge in serious revamp in Pakistan’s most productive sectors, the government must provide the energy at competitive prices, if it is to avert dependence on foreign institutions and countries for financial support.

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