FBR to suspend SIMs of non-filers across Pakistan: sources

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ISLAMABAD: Following the latest condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) is set to launch a nationwide crackdown against non-filers, ARY News reported on Saturday, citing sources.

The FBR officials have issued final notices to hundreds of thousands of non-filers and warned them of severe consequences including disconnecting electric, gas, and mobile sim suspension from January 15, 2024.

Sources revealed that a total of 145 district tax officers have been granted special powers across the country to bring in 1.5 million people in the tax net this financial year.

Sources claimed that the FBR will initiate stringent action against those who fail to comply with tax obligations.

The IMF’s move to issue notices to hundreds of thousands of non-filers is part of a broader strategy to boost tax compliance in Pakistan.

Recently, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the first review of Pakistan s economic reform programme supported by its Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

“The Board s approval allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR 528 million (around US$ 700 million), bringing the total disbursements under the SBA to US$ 1.9 billion.”

The IMF s nod follows the staff-level agreement reached between the Fund and Pakistan on November 15, 2023, emphasizing the nation s commitment to implementing key reforms.

The IMF executive board s approval came after continued efforts of caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar and Army Chief General Asim Munir.

The current IMF program of $3 billion is scheduled to end in the second week of April 2024, with around $1.8 billion remaining un-disbursed. The Fund released $1.2 billion first tranche in July.

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