Asad Umar urges EAC sub-groups to expedite recommendations

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From Business Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Asad Umar yesterday urged the sub-groups of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to expedite their recommendations to finalize the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

Presiding over a meeting of EAC sub-groups on NFIS and Fiscal Sector here, Asad Umar emphasized on diligently time-lining the goals, targets and actions to be taken, and cautioned against delaying the implementation process of the strategy.

The meeting was attended by all the major stakeholders and members of the sub-group from the Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa presented the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to improve quality and increase access to financial services in the country.

He outlined targets and necessitating policy actions to be taken at various levels in coming years to achieve the targets.

Discussion revolved around fast-tracking the digitization of financial services to reach out larger number of consumers, small and medium business and newly emerging entrepreneurs throughout country.

In the fiscal policy sub-group meeting, FBR representatives made a presentation on the problems currently ailing tax administration system, and ad-hoc-ism of tax policy. It was noted that those issues consequently lead to low tax collection contributing to massive fiscal imbalances. The sub-group also considered solutions to fix crippling tax system of Pakistan by recommending policy measures targeting two major areas, tax administration and tax policy.

It was noted that the information technology held greater promise in getting more and more people into tax net, and spotting tax-avoiders. It was also noted that coherent and continuous coordination among provinces and between the federal government and provincial governments was of paramount importance in avoiding incidence of double-taxation.

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