Shamshad Akhtar, the interim finance minister,
visits the Federal Board of Revenue to assess the status of the $3 billion IMF Stand-by Arrangement’s implementation to date.
ISLAMABAD: Shamshad Akhtar, the interim finance minister, visited the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to evaluate the implementation of the $3 billion Stand-by-Arrangement (SBA) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and conducted her first meeting on the electricity sector since taking office.
The first review of the SBA is set for the end of September 2023, according to the staff report on the SBA that the IMF staff mission prepared for the Fund Executive Board. It is in this context that the caretaker finance minister’s visit to the FBR and the meeting on the power sector are being viewed.
Under the condition of anonymity, the source noted that the caretaker government, like all prior governments, a result of power theft and non-recovery of billed amounts.
Shamshad for his creative method of identifying untaxed sections
The official went on to say that this was the precise reason why Shehbaz Sharif, the former prime minister, appointed a committee to develop a strategy for transferring control of power distribution firms (Discos), which fall under their purview, to the provinces.
The insider stated that the federal government is hopeful that giving the provinces control of the Discos will reduce power theft and enhance bill recovery.
During her visit to the FBR, Shamshad Akhtar is reported to have emphasized the significance of raising the tax-to-GDP ratio. She reportedly stated that she preferred adding new tax payers to the tax system to existing tax payers, which was a recommendation given by all prior finance ministers but to no result.
The official claimed that in order to include the untaxed sectors in the net, unconventional measures should be implemented.
When reached, sources in the finance ministry claimed that the acting finance minister had made it clear that she did not want to speak to the media at this time.