Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA):The provincial tax systems in Pakistan are more or less based upon a colonial legacy. The dawn of 21st century has seen a visible change in the governance patterns at national as well as at sub-national levels especially in the developing countries. Pakistan too has very sincerely joined the race of government reforms on multi-institutional fronts. Reforms in tax regimes have been initiated as an important component of overall fisco-economic reforms. In this regard, Pakistan has also suitably modified its fiscal federalism. Not only public service responsibilities of the Provincial governments have been expanded but also several prudent opportunities have been created for the Provinces to mobilize their own resources.
The “PRA model” has been designed on the pattern of an internationally recognized doctrine of SARA (Semi Autonomous Revenue Administration). The experiment of SARA model in developing world has generally produced very encouraging results.. PRA will work as a neutral tax law enforcement agency ensuring that government’s due tax share in economic activities is reaped to the optimal level. But meanwhile it will make its best efforts to create and maintain a wise balance between tax enforcement and tax facilitation.
PRA has its own vision, mission and values. It’s vision is to reach and stabilize itself at a level where it could ensure judicious revenue mobilization for sustainable development. To reach at such a visionary height, PRA is endeavoring to develop a durable system of modern and responsive tax management. In this regard, PRA is wholeheartedly committed to the internationally honoured values of “professionalism”, “fairness” and “trustworthiness”. To maintain the highest possible professional integrity standards, PRA is developing a very sound human resource (HR) policy to ensure pooling of the best available technical talent from multiple sources. PRA is not simply a name of an organization; it is an epithet of a philosophy of change on the horizons of fiscal administration.
PRA has commenced its functions from its headquarters in the provincial capital. It has a detailed plan to expand its physical reach in other divisional headquarters and major districts of the province. At divisional level, Commissionerates of PRA will be established with appropriate strength of well-trained manpower. Tax facilitation centres will be established in cities with sizeable taxpayers population.
Punjab Government has contracted arrangements with Pakistan Revenue Automation Ltd (PRAL) to provide information technology (IT) support to PRA during its formative phase. Sales tax on services will be received by the designated branches of National Bank of Pakistan, where PRAL’s infrastructural and technical support is available for the facilitation and assistance of the taxpayers in working out their assessments and filing their returns. PRA intends to make appropriate investments to develop its own IT capacity to serve its taxpayers in due course.