Punjab plans ambitious tax and PFM reforms

1 Sep 15

A “roadmap” for ambitious tax and public financial management reforms has been developed by the Punjab government, finance minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha announced at the weekend. 

The plan focuses on reforming provincial tax collection systems and the financial management of the government of the Indian state.

Speaking at a donor coordination meeting convened to review the plans, Pasha said that, with the support of development partners, the Punjab government expects to achieve a “very ambitious” tax-collection target of Rs 160.59bn ($2.4bn) set in the budget estimate for 2015/16.

She added that the Punjab government wanted to mobilise maximum resources without increasing tax rates or over-burdening the existing taxpayers.

“The reform programme aims at mobilising revenues by improving tax administration to stop leakage of taxes, broadening tax base and bringing greater transparency in the tax collection systems,” she said.

“Similarly, on the public financial management side, reforms have been planned to introduce modern financial management systems in the province, bringing in budgeting reforms to shift from annual, incremental approach to evidence based, medium-term and performance based budgeting.”

The finance minister also said the Punjab government would strengthen the institutional capacity of the finance department in order make it “a modern, 21st century department that would be able to efficiently serve all departments of the Punjab”.

Pasha thanked development partners for committing to provide technical assistance to government on all areas identified in the reform plan.

The meeting was chaired by Pasha and attended by the chair of the Punjab Revenue Authority and other senior officials. Ben French, provincial representative at the UK Department for International Development, Omar Mukhtar Khan, DFID governance advisor, and Catherine Froehline, a representative of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and German Embassy, were also at the meeting. 

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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