PESHAWAR: Federal Board of Revenue chairman Dr Mohammad Irshad on Wednesday denied changes to the tax records required by the Joint Investigation Team proving the Panama Leaks case and said allegations of certain quarters in that respect were false.

Addressing a function at the Customs House here, the FBR chief said his organisation had already provided ‘whatever (documents) was required’ to the JIT and would furnish if more was needed.

He said the FBR would continue cooperating with the JIT in its investigation into the Panama Leaks case.

Dr Irshad appreciated the effective role of the Model Customs Collectorate, Peshawar, against smuggling and increase in tax revenue.

He said he would examine the demands for the filling of vacancies, promotions and appointments at the model customs collectorate.

Says provided sought-after documents to JIT, will provide more if required

Earlier, customs collector Qurban Ali Khan said he was hopeful that the fence along Pak-Afghan border would help control smuggling and militancy, and strengthen national economy. He said the border fencing would increase the chances of increase in investment opportunities and employment and thus, alleviating poverty in the region.

The customs collector said the MCC had collected Rs2,000 million taxes during the current year.

“Basically an anti-smuggling department, we have so far seized illegal consignments of about two and a half billion rupees, which is double the previous year’s target,” he said.

Mr Qurban said the seized non-customs paid vehicles totaled 3,000, while the MCC had earned Rs550 million from smuggled goods in the current year.

He said the smuggling had led to the closure of industrial units.

“The MCC has already given its suggestions to the FBR for smuggling control. If the smuggling is controlled, then billions of rupees can be added to the national economy,” he said.

Additional collectors Syed Fazal Samad and Rashid Habib, customs and FBR officials and business community’s representatives also attended the function.

Also in the day, the FBR chief laid the foundation stone of district taxation officer in Charsadda.

He told reporters that the new tax laws would have no effects on the existing taxpayers and instead, they would help broaden the tax net for the country’s prosperity.

Dr Mohammad Irshad said he was confident that the revenue target for the current year would be achieved.

He said tax reforms were meant to increase the rate of direct taxes, while the DTO offices had a great role to play in that respect.

The FBR chief said the DTO Office would be like a mini-RTO and would resolve the tax related problems of the relevant people.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project was a big opportunity for progress and development and would bring new technology to the country.

Earlier, he told the ceremony that the DTO offices established in light of the new tax reforms would be autonomous.

The FBR chairman urged tax officers to facilitate taxpayers to expand tax net.

He said the teaching of Chinese language had been made compulsory in all training institutes of the FBR in light of its importance due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

Tax Bar Association president Mushtaq Ahmad and traders’ representative Abdul Ali Khan praised the FBR chairman over tax reforms and broadening of tax net.

Later, Dr Irshad planted a sapling on the lawns of the premises.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2017

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