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Trade body accuses FBR of harassment

Updated March 13, 2019

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Business premises are being raided under the pretext of leakage of information which holds no legal or moral ground and has become a cause of anxiety and concern for businessmen, says FPCCI president. — AFP/File
Business premises are being raided under the pretext of leakage of information which holds no legal or moral ground and has become a cause of anxiety and concern for businessmen, says FPCCI president. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Federa­tion of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) slammed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for conducting raids on businesses without issuing warrants.

He said that business premises are being raided under the pretext of leakage of information which holds no legal or moral ground and has become a cause of anxiety and concern for businessmen.

FPCCI President Daroo Khan Achakzai has urged the Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately take notice of the ongoing raids being carried out without any warrant of area magistrate or prior notices.

Achakzai said this harassment by FBR is causing fear amongst trade and industry as discretionary power vested with officials might be misused to serve their ulterior motives and is against the business community’s rights.

This practice is contradictory to the premier’s recent statement on initiating business-friendly economic and commercial policies in consultation with the FPCCI, he said.

He warned that such acts from FBR would serve as a disincentive to potential taxpayers to join the tax net and undermine governmental efforts of broadening the base through persuasions instead of prosecution.

Ackakzai also drew the attention of the prime minister towards exclusion of a large number of filers from Active Taxpayers’ List (ATL) even though they took prior permission from tax commissioners for filing return after the due date.

He apprehended that this would erode the confidence of taxpayers, a pre-requisite for success of any scheme. The FPCCI president argued that once the taxpayer has fulfilled his responsibility then there is no reason he should be excluded from the ATL.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019