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IMF ‘concerned’ over FBR’s Track and Trace system shortcomings..

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ‘concerned’ over shortcomings in the implementation of the track and trace system by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), ARY News reported, citing sources.

These concerns were shared by the Washington-based lending agency during its current discussions with FBR authorities on tax structure and administration.

Sources said the IMF has asked for a detailed implementation report on the track and trace system and set a deadline for its complete adoption across five major sectors in the country.

The lender has urged for the track and trace system to be fully operational by next fiscal year. While discussions are still at the policy level, both parties have agreed to accelerate reforms to expand the tax net and prevent tax evasion.

Pakistan is seeking a $6 to $8 billion bailout package from the international lender for three to four years to address its financial woes.

In its staff report earlier this week, the IMF acknowledged Pakistan’s economic improvement, however, it warned that the outlook remains challenging, with downside risks remaining exceptionally high.

The country narrowly averted default last summer, and its $350 billion economy has stabilised after the completion of the last IMF programme, with inflation coming down to around 17% in April from a record high of 38% last May.

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