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IFC Supports Punjab Government as it Reforms Tax System


Lahore, Pakistan - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to advise the Government of Punjab as it reforms the province’s sales tax system, part of a wider effort to encourage economic development in Pakistan.

IFC will support the government as it streamlines sales tax regulations, improves collection procedures, and makes it easier for small and medium business to comply with tax regulations. The initiative will help boost government revenues while providing business with transparent and easy-to-understand tax guidelines. The project comes as newly-elected governments in Islamabad and Lahore launch wide-ranging reform programs to help reinvigorate growth and make the Punjab a leading investment destination.

“In the last year, the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has made great strides in the collection of sales tax,” said Iftikhar Qutab, PRA Chairman. “This agreement will help further those efforts, providing a solid fiscal foundation for the province.”

The project is part of an IFC effort to help governments across the Middle East and North Africa modernize their regulations to ease the regulatory burden on firms and encourage economic development.

“It is vital for regional governments to have a broad tax base; without it, they will struggle to achieve their policy objectives, including delivering the infrastructure and social services needed to support growth,” said Magdi M. Amin, IFC’s Manager for Investment Climate in the Middle East and North Africa. “The key to broadening that tax base is implementing reforms that are simple for businesses to follow, which this project is designed to do.”

IFC and the Punjab government held a signing ceremony last week chaired by Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and attended by Finance Secretary Jehanzeb Khan.

The initiative is part of IFC’s strategy in Pakistan to stoke economic development by supporting regulatory reforms and encouraging the growth of the private sector. Through a combination of investments and advisory services, IFC is helping to bolster power supplies, increase agricultural productivity, boost regional trade, and support smaller businesses, among a host of other initiatives.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

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