THE FBR is one of the biggest organisations of the country. Unfortunately it has only managed to collect tax from 0.5 per cent 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 loans which were to be paid from taxpayers’ money, but it has still failed to add more than three million (1.5 per cent) on the National Tax Number list.
While, on the other hand, the relatively young office of the Election Commission of Pakistan has verified more than 90 million (47 per cent) voters already. If the current tax base is increased from 1.5 per cent to 50 per cent, then Pakistan will not need the aid or loans of any other nation or organisation in the future. People 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 president or the head of the FBR, should impose an act for each and every employee being paid from the FBR budget that each employee would add records of 50 new taxpayers to the NTN list by the end of three months. And who ever 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 per cent) new taxpayers on record.
This will be a new achievement for the FBR to have at least five per cent 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 will be removed from service and this will help reduce the extra costs at the FBR.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER