Islamabad: Finance and Revenue Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr. Abdul Hafiz Sheikh said that Pakistan has achieved important milestones in transparency and information exchange.
Addressing the Plenary Meeting of the Global Forum on “Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes 2020”, organized by OECD, the adviser appreciated the technical support extended by the Global Forum and the UK Government, which he said was instrumental in implementing the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
At present, Pakistan is one of the few developing countries among the early adopters of the CRS and began exchanging data with partner jurisdictions in less than 02 years, he added, according to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.
The consultant outlined that tax transparency and exchange of information (EOI) are powerful tools for enhancing tax compliance.
“Pakistan is firmly committed to fighting tax evasion and other illicit financial flows and need more international cooperation for cross-border assistance in tax recovery,” he added.
The Adviser also briefed the forum about the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by the Government to mitigate sufferings of the vulnerable groups.
During the COVID-19 period, the Pakistani government introduced “smart lock-in” measures to curb the spread of the disease and keep the economy running.
The Pakistani government’s “smart lock-in” method is recognized worldwide. The smart lock function enables many companies to reopen or continue operations on a limited scale to reduce the adverse economic impact during the test.
The Pakistani government provided cash payments to 15 million families under the “Isaac Emergency Cash Payment” item.
During the COVID-19 period, the government has taken a number of measures to accelerate the economic recovery. A relief program for small and medium-sized enterprises to prevent bankruptcy and unemployment.
Similarly, a special package was announced to boost Construction sector which included amnesty scheme, tax exemption and Rs 33 billion subsidy to stimulate economic growth.
Pakistan has registered an upward trend in foreign remittances and FDI during first quarter of FY-2020-21.
The Government is firmly committed to correct fundamentals of the economy through effective policy making and targeted reforms, he said adding the end goal was to achieve sustainable economic growth, he concluded.