Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Mr. Haroon Akhtar Khan has described the state of the economy as “healthy and stable” with most of the economic indicators showing positive growth trends as evidenced by stable ratings regularly given to Pakistan by international agencies monitoring our economic performance.
He was speaking to the participants of the 107th National Management Course (NMC) during their visit to the FBR House today. Chairman FBR Mr. Tariq Mahmood Pasha, Dean National School of Public Policy Mr. Naeem Aslam and Members of the FBR were also present.
Giving an overview of the state of the economy and the growth trends on the revenue generation front, Mr. Haroon said the country was well on its way to achieving 6 % GDP growth during the ongoing fiscal as compared to 5.3% growth recorded last year. He said a similar growth trajectory was visible in the revenue collection which had gone up from Rs 1,946 billion in 2013 to Rs 3,362 billion in 2017, recording an overall 73 % growth in the last four years.
He said FBR was looking at Rs 4,000 billion revenue target for the ongoing fiscal and even though it was a humongous task, efforts made in recent years had paid dividends and made it possible for the government to give away an additional Rs 3,500 billion to the provinces under the NFC which would not have possible without optimal resource mobilization. “We have shown results despite a marked decrease in the inflation which is around 4% today as against 9% in 2013 and almost 25% in 2008-09.
Mr. Haroon Akhtar also dispelled the impression created about the accumulation of government debt which stands at 61% of GDP while it was 60% of GDP in 2013. He said that the external debt was 21% of the GDP in 2013 and it is now 20% of the GDP.
The Special Assistant to the PM on Revenue conceded the country's imports had gone up to $ 53 billion but “they reflect on the consumption capacity and strength of our economy”. “The situation is obviously challenging and we must do a lot of work to increase our exports.
Chairman FBR Tariq Mahmood Pasha also spoke on the occasion and briefed the participants about FBR's efforts for broadening of tax base which he identified as the key area his team had selected to work on to promote tax compliance and enhance the tax-to-GDP ratio. Earlier, separate presentations were given by Member (Operations) FBR Kh Tanveer Ahmad and Member Customs FBR Zahid Mahmood Khokhar on the working of Inland Revenue Service and Pakistan Customs Service.
Towards the end, Dean NSPP Mr. Naeem Aslam thanked the FBR management for hosting the participants and giving them an insight into “a real government at work”. Shields were also exchanged.