Chasing a staggering revenue collection target of Rs. 6.1 Trillion, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has persistently kept its steady march and has thus grown from strength to strength. As the current financial year approaches its end, the country’s premier revenue collection organization has already created history by surpassing the Rs. 5 Trillion mark in May, a historic moment by all means. This rare feat of unparalleled dedication by team FBR might have gone largely unnoticed. However, it is all set to create history on June 30 by collecting Rs. 6 Trillion for the first time ever in our country’s history, a dream come true scenario. FBR has registered 28.4% growth from July 2021 to May 2022 despite massive tax relief provided by the government to the common man. FBR has released the provisional revenue collection figures for the months of July 2021-May 2022 of the current Financial Year 2021-22. According to the provisional information, FBR has collected net revenue of Rs. 5,349 billion during July 2021-May 2022 of current Financial Year 2021-22. These provisional figures will further improve after the closure of payment receipts and reconciliation with the State Bank of Pakistan. This represents a growth of about 28.4% over the collection of Rs. 4,164 billion during the same period, last year. The net collection for the month of May 2022 realizes Rs. 490 billion representing an increase of 26.8 % over Rs. 387 billion collected in May 2021. On the other hand, the gross collections increased from Rs. 4,389 billion during July, 2020-May, 2021 to Rs 5,644 billion in the current Financial Year July 2021- May 2022, showing an increase of 28.6%. Likewise, the number of refunds disbursed during May 2022 was Rs.30.4 Billion while in May 2021 the refunds disbursed were Rs.21.1 Billion, registering an increase of 44.3%. Similarly, refunds worth Rs 295.5 billion have been disbursed from July 2021 to May, 222 compared to Rs 224.2 billion paid last year, showing an increase of 31.8%. FBR’s growth trajectory is characterized by its journey towards transparency, digitalization, and automation. Thus, it is growing stronger against odds, with every passing day. This exceptional performance has not happened overnight. The country’s apex revenue organization has introduced a new culture of clean taxation ensuring transparency, taxpayers’ facilitation, and ease of doing business through a wide array of digital interventions. Amongst various innovative initiatives made by FBR to maximize tax compliance through automation of its operations, the Point of Sale System (POS) is one key initiative that aims to monitor sales made by Tier-1 Retailers across Pakistan. Adding value to this critically important sector and plugging revenue leakages in a sector with an approximate annual turnover worth over Rs. 20 Trillion, FBR has launched an aggressive awareness campaign on the mainstream national media to educate and engage consumers in order to ensure that tax collected from them at the point of sale is deposited into the state exchequer and not pocketed by the retailers themselves. Furthermore, the campaign also encompasses a prize scheme worth Rs.53 Million to be disbursed among 1007 lucky winners through a transparent computerized ballot to be held on the 15th of every month. This is truly an unprecedented example of involving citizens in tax compliance and raising their awareness about their national responsibility to not pay their due tax but also safeguard the same from being stolen on its way to the national exchequer. Likewise, in order to rope in the Large Scale Manufacturing Sector, FBR has successfully implemented the Track and Trace System (TTS) in Sugar Sector. It is further reiterated that over the next few months, implementation of the Track & Trace System in the entire Tobacco Sector as well as in other important sectors like Fertilizers, Petroleum, and Cement will be ensured. It will result in digital monitoring of the manufacturing and production of these key sectors. Besides, preventing revenue leakages, TTS will help in minimizing human intervention and thus pave the way for a transparent and reliable tax compliance system across the country. Likewise, Pakistan Customs as a strong arm of FBR remains at the frontline at borders, seaports, airports, and the highways to safeguard our country from the menace of smuggling of contrabands, drugs, currency, and liquor, pornography, etc. It leads our country’s efforts in combating commercial cargo smuggling to protect our industry and hence secure jobs. It is on the strength of this protection and growth in our industry, that we can dream of a Pakistan where exports become the mainstay of our GDP bringing forth precious foreign exchange to satisfy our growing import demands. It is so very reassuring to witness that Pakistan Customs with the help of other law enforcement agencies has been able to thwart smuggling to a considerable amount, which was a huge challenge for the country. Therefore, Pakistan Customs is responsible for ensuring safe transit routes through our territory connecting our ports, airports, and land customs stations to the regional countries, and connecting Pakistan to Central Asia and beyond. FBR aims to enable Pakistan to become a logistics hub by connecting the three economic corridors running through Pakistan; CPEC, and the other two Central Asian Republics Economic Corridors through Torkham and Chaman. Building further on the vision of a digital FBR, Pakistan Customs has taken upon itself the mandate to embrace technology and is very conscious of the fact that without digital transformation, we would remain vulnerable and uncompetitive. It is an undeniable reality that Pakistan Customs’ role is constantly evolving and it has proved itself up to the mark in responding to the changing nature of border management. Pakistan Customs (FBR) is serving as the guardian of Pakistan’s borders against the movement of contraband goods, as well as, a major revenue contributing agency. Needless to add that Pakistan Customs is handling legitimate annual trade worth more than US$ 80 billion. Besides, the ongoing unprecedented and constant growth trajectory in revenue collection has been achieved despite massive tax relief given by the government on various essential items. For the first time ever in the country’s history, Sales Tax on all POL products has been reduced to zero which costs FBR Rs. 45 Billion every month including May 2022. It is also worth sharing that FBR has introduced a number of innovative interventions both at the policy and operational level with a view to maximizing revenue potential through digitization, transparency, and taxpayers’ facilitation. This has not only resulted in ensuring transparency, taxpayers’ facilitation, and the ease of doing business but also translated into healthy and steady growth in revenue collection. Likewise, the incumbent top leadership of FBR has launched a new culture of clean taxation with a clear focus on collecting only the fair tax and not holding up refunds that are due for payment. This has not only fast-tracked the process of bridging the trust deficit between FBR and Taxpayers but also ensured the much-needed cash liquidity for the business community. That’s precisely why FBR continues to surpass its assigned revenue targets despite challenges and price stabilization measures adopted by the government. FBR’s outstanding growth trajectory is characterized by its journey towards transparency, digitalization, and automation. Thus, it is growing stronger against odds, with every passing day. A constant progressive march towards achieving excellence remains a hallmark of its new vision which is driven by promoting a culture of tax compliance across Pakistan. FBR seems committed far more than ever before and thereby it is all set to create history by surpassing the Rs. 6 Trillion mark on June 30, 2022. This indomitable will to achieve and excel is the key to its success. The writer is a civil servant by profession, a writer by choice and a motivational speaker by passion!