ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday took notice of a reported withdrawal of tax exemptions to traders and investors of the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata) through a legislative process in parliament.

A 40-member delegation of industrialists from ex-Fata met the Senate chairman at his office and complained about the violation of the act of parliament. As a result of these policies, more than 40 steel units and some ghee industries were closed, leaving thousands unemployed.

Mr Sanjrani sought a report from the Ministry of Finance, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Law in this regard.

Fata was merged with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the year 2018 and tax exemptions were given for a period of five years. However, the delegation apprised the Senate chairman that through various tactics, the steel and ghee industry has been deprived of this exemption in the Finance Bill 2019.

An official announcement issued after the meeting said that Senate chairman assured the delegation that relevant ministers and representatives of concerned ministries and departments would be called for a meeting for solution of the issue.

The delegation while apprising the Senate chairman regarding the behavior of FBR said that the board did not facilitate nor give concessions as per law. Bank accounts of the business class associated with these industries have been frozen, the delegation maintained.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2021

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