Thursday, September 15, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday became a signatory to the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, paving the way for the government to get details of offshore companies owned by Pakistanis from OECD member countries.
Minister for Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar signed the Convention along with Angel Gurria Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at a dignified ceremony in Paris, a message received here from Paris said.
OECD invitation to Pakistan to sign the Convention was possible after a long process of over two years which included peer reviews and amendments in Pakistani domestic income tax laws to meet the requirements of OECD.
It demonstrates Pakistan’s strong commitment to adopt international best practices in the field of tax matters and join the multilateral fight against tax evasion through mutual auto and spontaneous exchange of information.
The Convention, which is currently signed by over 80 countries, would facilitate international cooperation on national tax laws and provide administrative cooperation among member countries to combat tax evasion.
The Finance Minister also held a bilateral meeting with the OECD Secretary General to discuss ways and means to further strengthen the existing ties between Pakistan and the OECD.
He conveyed Pakistan’s desire to become a key OECD partner country and reaffirmed Pakistan’s determination to cooperate with the OECD on all important areas of mutual interest.
He informed the Secretary General about the various economic and fiscal reforms undertaken by the government to stabilize Pakistan’s economy and the increased budgetary support for health and education sectors.
He also invited the Secretary General to visit Pakistan.
The Secretary General congratulated the Finance Minister on the historic signing of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matter and for his central role in economic turnaround in Pakistan in the last three years.
He acknowledged that Pakistan has made great strides in the economic field which has deservedly received accolades from international financial institutions.
He invited Pakistan to take part in various OECD global forums and meetings.
The OECD is an intergovernmental forum which focuses on issues including trade taxation environment technology and education.
It has 35 member countries in Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific.
Pakistan, though not a member of the OECD, has been regularly invited to participate in its various committee meetings.