LAHORE: Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Bajwa on Monday made it clear to the protesting traders that the 0.6 per cent withholding tax on banking instruments for non-filers would stay at every cost.

“It’s unfortunate that our economy continues to be undocumented as nobody is ready to pay tax,” he told journalists on the sidelines of Public Financial Management Conference.

However, he said the authorities may extend 0.3pc concession up to two months as a result of the ongoing dialogue with traders.

Earlier, he told the participants that the department was bringing a law to abolish Benami transactions and a bill would be presented to the next session of the National Assembly.

Auditor General of Pakistan Rana Assad Amin told a questioner that Rs40bn was recovered every year through audit reports about government irregularities, but the department had annual expenditure of only Rs3bn. He added that the World Bank had agreed to provide Rs1bn assistance to improve the audit system.

Additional Secretary Finance Dr Shujat Ali said the deficit-to-GDP had come down to 5.4pc from 8pc in the last two years. Former finance minister Dr Salman Shah suggested conducting a third-party audit of the amount spent on development projects by the federal and provincial governments.

Earlier, an MoU was signed between Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants to advance high quality public financial management.

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