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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Prime Minister pushes for timeline of privatization of PIA

He emphasized the need for a final implementation schedule for PIA's privatization and approved a proposed roadmap for the automation of FBR. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan has taken significant steps towards the privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). In a high-level meeting, he emphasized the need for a final implementation schedule for PIA’s privatization and approved a proposed roadmap for the automation of FBR. 

PIA Privatization Schedule

During the meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the Ministry of Privatization to present a final implementation schedule for the privatization of PIA within two days. This directive highlights the government’s commitment to reforming the struggling national airline and attracting private investment to enhance its efficiency and competitiveness.

Read More: PIA air hostess goes missing in Canada leaving a ‘Thank You’ note

FBR Restructuring and Automation

The proposed roadmap for the automation of FBR was approved in principle, signaling a significant step towards modernizing the revenue and tax system in Pakistan. To facilitate this process, the Prime Minister approved the hiring of a consultant for the restructuring of FBR. Additionally, he stressed the resolution of legal issues impeding the release of Rs1.7 trillion in stuck-up taxes, highlighting the government’s determination to streamline tax administration and improve revenue collection.

Legal Department Creation in FBR

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the Ministry of Law to present proposals for the establishment of a legal department within FBR. This department would be responsible for preparing legal drafts and hiring the services of lawyers to ensure compliance with the law in tax matters. Such initiatives aim to enhance the legal framework governing taxation and facilitate smoother enforcement of tax regulations.

Focus on Economic Growth 

PM Shehbaz emphasized the potential for achieving six to seven per cent economic growth through the implementation of reforms. He stressed the importance of investment in modernizing the revenue and tax system, advocating for a taxation system based on incentives. Furthermore, he called upon the business community to contribute to the progress of society through social service initiatives, indicating a collaborative approach towards economic development.

Read More: PIA’s Financial Turbulence Eases as FBR Unfreezes Bank Accounts

Outgoing finance minister Shamshad Akhtar briefed the meeting on various measures taken to enhance tax collection, including refunds’ payment to exporters, expanding the tax net, and combating tax evasion and institutional corruption. She highlighted the importance of developing a long-term tax plan to ensure policy continuity and stability in tax administration.