KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday termed ‘The Tax Laws (Third Amendment) Ordinance 2021’ unfair and called upon the government to hold it in abeyance until all stakeholders were consulted.
In a statement, FPCCI president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said the ordinance – which came into force on September 15 – was conflicting to Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin’s vision of due consultations with all stakeholders. “The ordinance contains budgetary measures and these cannot be taken without due consultation with stakeholders,” he added.
Mr Maggo lamented sweeping powers to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) by enabling it to disconnect mobile phone, electricity and gas connections of the non-filers of income tax returns. The new ordinance also empowers the National Accountability Bureau to open income tax cases as old as 20 years by accessing tax records through the National Database & Registration Authority.
“It was FPCCI’s proposal to disconnect the connections of commercial and industrial non-filers. However, this ordinance does not take due and fair procedure of separation of executive and adjudication into account. The ordinance vaguely mentions under-assessed income tax filers and provides blanket discretionary powers to the income tax officers,” the statement said.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021