Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

APP

The News International

Published Date: Jan 24, 2021

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/778913-improvement-in-provincial-tax-collection-termed-critical-for-human-development

Improvement in provincial tax collection termed critical for human development

ISLAMABAD: Improvement in tax collection by provinces is critically important to ensure sustainable investments for human resource development in the country, experts agreed.

They were addressing a webinar titled ‘towards a more innovative, effective and enabling provincial sales tax regime’, jointly organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Sub National Governance (SNG).

Vaqar Ahmed, joint executive director of SDPI said revenues of provinces must grow by almost 20 percent per annum in the medium term to sustain investments in human development and enable infrastructure development.

“This target can be achieved through having and using better data and evidence on tax avoidance and evasion and a structured sector-specific dialogue with private sector,” Ahmed said.

“This dialogue is important to help reduce the trust deficit between taxpayers and tax authorities as well as improving overall capacities for evidence-use in tax bodies.”

Ahmed further said the provinces are facing uncertainties related to federal transfers and reduction in development program that in turn threatens the sustainability of the medium-term fiscal framework.

“If pandemic outlook prolongs greater efforts toward the provincial revenue mobilisation would be required to sustain relief and recovery.”

Claire Hutchings, senior portfolio leader of Oxford Policy Management said incentives and motivations of all actors in the system need to be understood by revenue authorities to devise strategies for tax compliance through behavioural nudge techniques.

Zain Sahi, chairman of the Punjab Revenue Authority said the primary reason for poor tax compliance in the Punjab was found to be high rates of taxes. “Therefore, in addition to nudge techniques, fiscal incentives were also introduced including reduction in rates,” Sahi said.

Data from external sources is needed to identify taxpayers outside the tax net, but data analysis capabilities in the public sector also need improvement. The Punjab Revenue Authority is willing to share its data with other government entities on reciprocal basis.

World Bank’s Public Sector Specialist Irum Touqeer said expansion of tax base and improving tax compliance will remain challenging until the authorities efficiently utilise taxpayers’ data, remove constraints related to information and communication technology sector and automate data.

SNG Program Innovation Lead Usman Khan informed the participants that the program works closely with the Punjab Revenue Authority to deploy an intelligent system. It aims to make integration of all government data on taxpayers easier and other data commercially available in the public domain.

The UK government-funded program for improving public financial management is also aimed at to make the audit process of existing taxpayers smarter and more efficient. The system will use smart data techniques to identify the audit scope rather than a random selection, he added.

Naveed Aziz, governance adviser of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said the FCDO has been working with both the federal and provincial governments, but any work done by donors has to be institutionalised for any change to materialise.

Gulalai Khan, communications and social impact adviser of SNG Program shared various dynamics of the topic and highlighted the importance of discourse on tax revenue mobilisation by provinces.