President rejects FBR pleas in Rs1.2bn fake invoices scam

Published August 23, 2021
President Arif Alvi directed the FBR to submit a monthly implementation report to the FTO’s secretariat till the completion of the action on each case. — APP/File
President Arif Alvi directed the FBR to submit a monthly implementation report to the FTO’s secretariat till the completion of the action on each case. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday disposed of 42 representations of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in cases of bogus sales tax invoices worth over Rs1.2 billion.

The representations had been filed with the president assailing the orders of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) passed in suo motu cases, in which bogus sales tax refunds were reimbursed fully or partially by the FBR officials to fake claimants.

The FBR’s Directorate General Intelligence & Investigation-Inland Revenue had unearthed the scam and red alerts were issued to the field formations concerned. However, no action was initiated against the delinquent officials and the fake claimants.

The FTO, taking suo motu notice of the matter, had directed the FBR to investigate and identify the officials involved in verification of the registered persons and initiate a disciplinary action.

Action follows ombudsman’s suo motu notice that called for probe

In pursuance of the FTO’s recommendations and also the previous orders of the president passed in similar cases, the FBR constituted six fact-finding inquiry committees to deal with 130 suo motu cases relating to fake refund claims.

The terms of reference of the committees were meant to identify the wrongdoing and involvement of officials in each case, and fix responsibility. These committees were also tasked to prepare a draft charge-sheet and statement of allegations with respect to each official and submit a report to the FBR within 30 days. President Alvi, in view of the findings of the committees, disposed of the representations of the FBR pertaining to the cases in which full or partial refunds were paid fraudulently.

He directed the FBR to submit a monthly implementation report to the FTO’s secretariat till the completion of the action on each case.

He also ordered that an opportunity of show-cause and hearing be given to the official in case of any departmental action proposed against him, to satisfy the requirement of due process and the principles of natural justice.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021

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