FBR target should be revised downward by Rs400 billion: Mian Zahid

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ISLAMABAD, JAN 20 – /DNA/ – Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said a slight reduction in government borrowing has been noticed.

The government has borrowed Rs899 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal pushing debt to s24.11 billion while its favourite tool remained Pakistan Investment Bonds, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the current government on average borrowed Rs397.60 billion during the last 28 months but now its reliance on borrowing has reduced to some extent.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that dependence on the loans can only be reduced if production, exports and remittances are boosted while tax net is expanded.

He noted that the FBR revenue target was set at Rs4.9 trillion for the current fiscal. During the first six months, FBR was able to collect Rs2.2 trillion while it has to collect Rs2.7 trillion during the next six months which seems ambitious.

The government should reduce the tax target by Rs400 billion otherwise FBR will be compelled to pressurise the existing taxpayers and block refunds which will hit economic activities.

He said that the revenue shortfall should not be bridged with another mini-budget as masses are not prepared for it.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that FBR paid refunds worth Rs53 billion in the first six months of the last fiscal which has been increased to Rs102 billion during the ongoing year.

This momentum should not be disturbed at any cost, he demanded.