Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, who could not manage to attend the annual meeting of the IMF/WB because of hectic engagements here in Pakistan confirmed to The News that the Emerging Markets, the newspaper published on eve of the annual meetings of the IMF/WB declared him as Finance Minister of 2016 for South Asia in recognition of the performance achieved by Pakistan on the economic front during the last three years.
The minister said that this award was meant for Pakistan as it would enhance respect of the country. He said that he had authorised Pakistan’s Ambassador in USA Jalil Abbass Jillani for getting this award on his behalf.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday chaired high-level meeting for achieving higher growth trajectory. All international financial institutions recognised Pakistan’s progress towards the right direction.
To another query about shortfall in the FBR’s target in first quarter of the current fiscal year, the minister reminded that the FBR managed to surpass the assigned target of the last financial year despite witnessing shortfall of Rs40 billion in the first quarter of FY 2015-16. This financial year, he said, the desired tax collection target of Rs3621 would be achieved by 2016-17.
He confirmed that he authorised the FBR to make changes where the officers could not demonstrate good performance so second tier changes would be made in days ahead.
It is relevant to mention here that out of Rs50 billion shortfall being faced by the FBR in first quarter of FY 2016-17, 95 percent shortfall was related to Large Taxpayers Units (LTUs) located in Karachi and Islamabad. But the LTU in Lahore demonstrated growth in revenues to the tune of around 30 percent.
However, press statement issued by Finance Ministry on Saturday night states that the Award is recognition of Pakistan’s economic performance at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting which is one of the major gatherings of international financial and economic leaders and experts. Since Finance Minister had to cancel his visit to Washington for the Annual Meeting due to situation on the Line of Control, the All-Parties Conference and Joint Session of the Parliament on Kashmir situation, he has authorised Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani to receive the award on his behalf later tonight.