If honesty is the sole criterion for the appointment of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) head then the government should request cleric Maulana Tariq Jamil to head the tax watchdog, said top economist Dr Ikramul Haq while criticising the government’s tax policies.

In an Express News show, the economist said the use of technology and enforcement of laws were important to achieve tax targets.

“If tax collection can be increased through honesty alone, we should request Maulana Tariq Jamil to head the FBR,” the economist said, alluding to the remarks made by Imran Khan before the 2018 elections that an “honest leadership” could convince people to pay taxes and become a tax-compliant nation.


He also urged the government to relax the definition of non-resident person to one year to facilitate those who were stuck in the country due to Covid-19.

Haq was of the view that the government should make a general rule to facilitate the people instead of waiting for them to individually plead their cases regarding overstay due to the pandemic as scores of non-resident persons have accidentally become Pakistani residents.

According to the economist, the FBR should send tax returns to the people to measure the response. According to the TV show, at least 72 per cent of people didn’t file tax returns: 4.7million out of the total 6.5m.