FPCCI seeks end to discretionary powers of tax officials

Updated May 21, 2020

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The chambers urge FBR to work on providing relief to taxpayers, simplifying taxation law. — AFP/File
The chambers urge FBR to work on providing relief to taxpayers, simplifying taxation law. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Fede­ration of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to withdraw tax officials’ discretionary powers in order to avoid their misuse.

The chambers urged the FBR to work on providing relief to taxpayers, simplifying taxation law and restoring the diminishing confidence in the taxation system.

FPCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar and Convener Zakaria Usman said the chamber federation, after identifying a series of such provisions vesting discretionary powers had given concrete proposals to safeguard the interest of taxpayers against the misuse.

They lamented the FBR’s decision to post inland revenue officers at business premises under Section 40B of Sales Tax Act, 1990 to monitor production, sales of goods, stock position etc as the move was outdated and unnecessary in the modern era of computerisation and available methods for monitoring the entire production and supply chain.

They argued that the move is anti-business, deters investors and results in harassment.

Moreover, Site Association of Industry Patron-in-Chief Zubair Motiwala drew government’s attention towards the difficulties faced by export sectors — value added textile, sports goods, surgical goods, leather and carpet — following the withdrawal of zero-rated regime in the last budget.

Re-imposition of sales tax has compelled foreign buyers to shift orders to other countries in the region, he added.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2020