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Dar directs FBR to boost efforts for achieving ‘true tax potential’

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Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to accelerate its efforts to achieve the true tax potential of the country.

The financial czar made the remarks while presiding over a meeting in Islamabad to review the performance of the FBR.

Dar extended his full support to the FBR in the performance of its duties for revenue collection.

During the meeting, FBR Chairman Asim Ahmad gave a detailed presentation on revenue targets and the performance of the FBR during the first nine months of the current fiscal year. It was stated that the FBR would make all-out efforts to meet its revenue target in the remaining months of the current financial year.

On February 1, the FBR claimed that it had collected Rs3,965 billion in tax collection in seven months (July-Jan) period and will have to collect Rs3,505 billion more in the remaining five months (Feb-June) of the current fiscal to meet the Rs7,470 billion target.

According to an FBR announcement, the tax machinery had surpassed the tax collection target envisaged for January 2023 with a margin of just Rs4 billion; its collection stood at Rs537 billion against the fixed target of Rs533 billion. However, FBR faced a revenue shortfall of Rs225 billion in December 2022 target.

It is argued by the FBR authorities that December 2022 was wrongly fixed on the higher side and they would be able to collect the fixed target for Income Tax, Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty (FED). However, it might face a shortfall of Rs170 billion on account of Customs Duty collection.

The latest estimates suggest that the devaluation of the exchange rate will help the FBR overcome its expected shortfall in the current fiscal year.

According to the official statement issued by the FBR, the revenue collector had demonstrated performance during January 2023 and had not only achieved the monthly budgetary target of Rs533 billion but also surpassed it by Rs4 billion.

According to provisional figures, the FBR collected Rs537 billion in the month of January, showing a growth of 23% compared to the same month last year.

Cumulatively, the FBR had collected Rs3,965 billion in the first seven months of the current financial year against Rs3,367 billion collected in the corresponding period of the last year, depicting a growth of 18%.

The third quarter of the current fiscal year started with an impressive performance and the FBR was committed to meet the annual budgetary target of Rs7,470 billion for the current financial year despite economic challenges, said the statement.

According to the tax regulator, direct taxes collection had shown growth of 48% during the first seven months of the current financial year.

The growth in domestic taxes was 40% during the same period. The contribution of domestic taxes has also increased from 50% last year to 59% during the current year.

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The inaugural flight of Azerbaijan Airlines is between Baku and Karachi.

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The national airline of Azerbaijan launched direct flights from Baku to Karachi today. There will be two weekly flights on this route, on Thursdays and Sundays.

The first flight will land in Karachi, and Azerbaijan’s ambassador, Khazar Farhadov, will be there to greet it.

This evening also marks the departure of the inaugural flight from Karachi to Baku, in addition to the arrival of the flight from Baku.

Azerbaijan Airlines said last month that it would be growing its network and flight operations in Pakistan.

Aviation insiders have verified that Azerbaijan Airlines is preparing to launch service to Karachi in the coming month of April.

In addition to its current services in Islamabad and Lahore, the airline plans to launch its Karachi route on April 18, with the inaugural flight anticipated to depart on that date.

Azerbaijan Airlines has been given permission to operate flights on the Karachi route, according to sources within the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Following a bilateral agreement between the two nations, Azerbaijan Airlines has been given permission to extend its operations in Pakistan.

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Fly Jinnah opens a new route internationally.

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Two weekly flights will be the starting frequency of the new route, which will connect the two cities.

According to a representative for Fly Jinnah, the company is pleased to announce the opening of a third international route from Islamabad to Muscat, the capital city of Oman, marking another significant milestone after the successful debut of flights from Islamabad and Lahore to Sharjah.

According to him, this development is in line with our goal of giving our clients more options for reasonably priced, value-driven local and international air travel.

The airline serves five main cities in Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta. Its fleet consists of five Airbus A320 aircraft, all of which are contemporary.

In addition to the current flight path to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, this new route expands Fly Jinnah’s network of foreign destinations.

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Tajir Dost app: traders don’t seem interested in registering

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To tax retailers in Pakistan, the Tajir Dost app was released. The sources stated that the government hopes to tax 3.5 million merchants through the app.

Ajmal Baloch, the president of All-Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran, stated that he made reservations with FBR on the SRO within a week.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), according to him, cannot be a “Tajir Dost” because of its unethical actions.

Baloch believed that since electricity bills allow traders to pay a predetermined advance income tax, further taxes are unnecessary.

The trader, according to him, is already paying thirteen different kinds of taxes on the commercial meter. “A trader already pays between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 20,000 in taxes annually, but you are requesting Rs. 1,200 per month in taxes.”

Mr. Ajmal summoned representatives of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to a meeting with the trade associations to talk about the indirect taxes that the merchants are paying.

Additionally, he claimed that FBR officers are charging the traders, the majority of whom are less educated, “monthly charges.”

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