Broad-based agreement signed by AJK Govt. , FBR to augment tax net in AJK harmonious to needs of modern age

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Altaf Hamid Rao.

MIRPUR (AJK),   (Parliament Times)  : Azad Govt. of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Govt. of Pakistan have signed an agreement to enhance the capacity-building and modernize the taxation system of the Inland Revenue Department of the State-run Central Board of Revenue (CBR) of AJK, harmonious to the need of the modern age with prime focus to augment the tax net in the State.

“Service Level Agreement (SLA) has been drawn between the AJK Government and the FBR to modernize with digitalization of the taxation system in the State”, said Commissioner Inland Revenue Department of AJK Sardar Zaffar Mahmood Khan told our Special AJK Correspondent / Resident Editor Altaf Hamid Rao here on Tuesday.

“Signatories to the agreement include representatives from both sides in the presence of Chief Secretary of the AJK government Dr. Shehzad Khan Bangash at the Jammu & Kashmir House in the federal metropolis”, the Commissioner said.

The AJK CS, on this occasion, described the agreement a milestone in the history of the taxation system in the State.

Elaborating Sardar Zaffar Mahmood Khan continued that the agreement for modernizing the tax system in AJ&K was reached between the Azad Jammu & Kashmir government and the Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (Federal Board of Revenue), Government of Pakistan wherein the representatives from either side signed the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in the presence of senior officials of the Government of Pakistan, FBR and AJK government including the AJK CS Dr. Shehzad Khan Bangash, Chairman AJ&K Central Board of Revenue (CBR) Farhat Ali Mir, Secretary Inland Revenue Deptt. Of AJ&K, Dr. Liaqat Hussain, Secretary Finance of AJ&K Govt., Commissioner Inland Revenue (Direct Taxes) AJ&K Sardar Zafar Mahmood Khan, Commissioner Inland Revenue (Indirect Taxes) AJ&K Ch. AsimShoukat, Deputy Director (Management Information System) of AJK Inland Revenue Department Faiz Ullah Sayyal, Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited PRAL – ( FBR) Gohar Rehman and Manager PRAL Asghar Choudhary and others.

Highlighting the salient features and prime objective of the agreement, the ILRD AJK Chief said that the Inland Revenue Department was working on the same methodology as in vogue in Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) vis-à-vis realization of the levies in the State.

“The Federal Board of Revenue is making collection of revenue through a fully automated online computerized System”, Sardar Zaffar said adding that the same online automated system had not yet been launched in AJK territory causing hindrances in smooth fulfillment of their tax obligations, confronted by the taxpayer community of the both sides.

The Commissioner AJK ILRD further said that reaching in the agreement was also primarily aimed at not only to improve the tax system but also to reshape it on modern lines in the greater interest of the taxpayers’ facilitation in AJ&K. He added that the broad-based agreement will leave far-reaching positive impacts for enhancing the volume of levies through the complete automation of the Inland Revenue Department.

“The agreement carries the status of milestone in the AJKK State’s history as it would lead to enhancement of tax revenue and broadening of tax base due to improved implementation of tax laws in the AJ&K”, the head of the ILRD said and added that the launch of fully automated system through SLA will lead to give easy tax access to general public and will ultimately result in boosting / promoting tax culture.

While Lauding the agreement reached between the FBR and the AJK Government, AJK Chief Secretary Dr. Shahzad Khan Bangash complimented the Government of Pakistan on this occasion by expressing that hope that the FBR will extend maximum cooperation to the State functionaries besides the AJK Inland Revenue Department in successful launching of tax automated system in AJ&K through practical implementation of the Service Level Agreement. He opined that the pact would also provide all necessary technical and legal assistance.

The Chief Secretary further elucidated that a longstanding issue has now been resolved after the signing of the Service Level Agreement since the AJ&K taxpayers will be able avail the facilities of online filing of income tax / sales tax returns. Dr. Bangash expressed the hope that after arrival of the agreement, the AJ&K taxpayer community will be able to enjoy all the same tax facilitation system as was available for the FBR taxpayers in Pakistan.

The CS specifically quoted the instructions of the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan regarding early settlement of the long-standing issue.

Speaking on this occasion, Secretary Inland Revenue Dept. Of AJ&K Dr. Liaqat Hussain acknowledged all the authorities for blooming the signing ceremony by expressing the hope that the FBR will continue to play its pivotal role in strengthening the AJK State economy besides to equip the State taxation system on latest lines – harmonious to the modern era in the larger interest of the realization of the State levies for socio-economic uplift of the liberated territory.