83 million CNICs: over 0. 7 million rich persons identified

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ISLAMABAD : The data of 83 million computerised national identity card numbers (CNICs) has been analysed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to identify 700,896 potential persons under the exercise of national documentation of the economy. Sources told Business Recorder here on Sunday that FBR Chairman Salman Siddqui had shared this information during the last meeting of Tax Reform Co-ordination Group (TRCG) held at the Ministry of Finance. The FBR has dispatched the decisions of the TRCG to all its members for necessary action and compliance. Sources said that the FBR identified 700,896 wealthy persons through data analysis of 83 million CNIC holders during the current exercise of the documenation of the economy. The Chairman apprised the meeting that 700,896 potential taxpayers have been identified through data mining on 83 million CNIC holders. Based on this data FBR has already initiated some action and an advertisement campaign has been launched backed up by issuance of individual notices. Moreover, the FBR has created an office of a Director General and smaller units at the RTO/ LTU level in this regard. A strategic plan to take this forward would be formulated with the help of the TRCG. He also confirmed that the Nadra and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) are actively interacting to obtain data from the Nadra to broaden the tax base. According to sources, FBR Chairman shared that a working paper had been developed for the Secretaries Committee headed by Finance Secretary to unleash the process of data-sharing to include data relating to property transactions and cars. Director General, Broadening the Tax Base (BTB) Inland Revenue and Nadra Chairman presented their briefs and proposals on the documentation of the potential persons. The DG, BTB apprised the participants about the working and modalities of the newly created Directorate General. The Chairman of Nadra explained in detail the process of data mining which led to the identification of a first batch a set of 700,000 potential taxpayers for broadening of tax base. He also proposed certain measures for execution of the broadening of tax base since he felt this was an enforcement scheme with a logistic challenge. Sources said that Minister of Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh recommended that a balance be struck between what was practically possible and the requirements of signalling in terms of how to motivate and incentivise people to come into the tax net once they have been identified as potential taxpayer. He suggested that a smaller sub-group be formed, which would help finalise the way forward. According to the decision of the last meeting of the TRCG, a sub-group of TRCG comprising following members was formed for carrying out certain actions in this regard. The sub-group comprises Chairman FBR, Chairman Nadra, DG(BTB), DG(SP&R), Abdullah Yusuf, Ali Jameel, Shabbar Zaidi, Muhammad Sulaiman, Bashir Ali Mohammad and Arshad Zuberi. The sub-group would work on setting a fair and realistic target of increasing taxpayers as well as revenue for the remaining months of the current fiscal year. The criterion may be fine-tuned for identifying the target, which is based on an equitable distribution of workload over various cities. Secondly, the sub-group would work out the modalities for creating public support for this initiative to be worked out. Thirdly, legal opinion from Law Ministry and tax practitioners will be sought for expanding the tax net and legal backing for bringing potential persons into the tax net. Sources said that a comprehensive strategic plan for the next year for broadening the tax base is to be formulated. The modalities for compensating Nadra for the data to be worked out by the sub-group. Moreover, a formal signing between Nadra and FBR for collaboration of a broadening tax base initiative is being launched.
Courtesy : Business Recorder

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