ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar Thursday instructed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials to finalize their budget work as early as possible according to the prescribed timeline.

The finance minister chaired a preparatory meeting with the FBR officials for the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2017-18. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue, Haroon Akhtar Khan, finance secretary, FBR chairman, and senior officials of FBR and the Ministry of Finance also attended the meeting.

Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Anusha Rehman Khan, secretary IT & Telecom, and senior officials of the Ministry of IT & Telecom also joined the meeting briefly to discuss tax-related proposals of the IT and telecom sector, a press release said. FBR chairman informed the finance minister that FBR's budget preparations are in their final stages, and will be completed in a timely manner as per the directions.

The finance minister highlighted the 5.28% GDP growth rate achieved by Pakistan during FY 2016-17, which is a ten-year high, and the target for the next fiscal year is 6% growth.

He emphasized that strong revenue generation will play a crucial role in achieving the targets for economic growth. He highlighted that great strides have been made in tax collections under the present government, and the aim is to generate even higher revenues in the coming fiscal year.