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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.

Rasheed Khalid

The News International

Published Date: Jan 24, 2021

Webinar on enabling provincial sales tax regime

Islamabad:Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Zain Sahi, Chairperson has said that due to high rates of taxes, critical fiscal incentives were introduced including reduction in rates in Punjab.

Mr Sahi was speaking at a webinar on ‘Towards a more innovative, effective and enabling provincial sales tax regime’ jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute and Sub National Governance here on Saturday.

Mr Sahi said that data from external sources was needed to identify taxpayers outside tax net but data analysis capabilities in the public sector also needed improvements. Therefore, PRA, he said, was willing to share its data with others government entities on reciprocal basis.

Usman Khan from Innovation Lead, SNG Programme told the participants that the Sub-National Governance (SNG) Programme worked closely with PRA to deploy an intelligent system. It aims at making integration of all government data on tax-payers easier and other data commercial available in the public domain, and thus, to use cross-referencing to identify new taxpayers. It would also make the audit process of existing tax-payers smarter and more efficient. He said adding that the system will use smart data techniques to identify the audit scope rather than a random selection.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, said that to sustain investments in human development and enabling infrastructure, revenues of provinces must grow by almost 20 per cent per annum in the medium term – a point also stressed in Punjab Growth Strategy. He said that this target can be achieved through having and using better data and evidence on tax avoidance and evasion, a structured sector-specific dialogue with private sector.

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, he adding that the provinces are facing uncertainties related to Federal transfers and reduction in development programme in turn threatening the sustainability of the medium-term fiscal framework. If pandemic outlook prolongs, greater efforts towards provincial revenue mobilisation would be required to sustain relief and recovery.

Public Sector Specialist, World Bank, Irum Toqeer, was of view that the expansion of tax base and improved compliance will be challenging if tax authorities do not address limited use of existing taxpayers’ data, ICT constraints and incomplete data automation within and across authorities.

Naveed Aziz, Governance Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), informed the participants that his office was working with both the Federal and provincial governments, but any work done by donors has to be institutionalised for any change to materialise.

Claire Hutchings, Senior Portfolio Leader, Oxford Policy Management (OPM), on the occasion opined that 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. Earlier, Gulalai Khan, Communications and Social Impact Adviser, SNG Programme, highlighted the importance of discourse on tax revenue mobilisation by provinces.