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No efforts made to recover agri-income tax, PAC told

March 28, 2012

KARACHI, March 28: A senior official of the Board of Revenue conceded before the Public Accounts Committee of the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday that revenue officials made no effort for the recovery of agriculture income tax.

Senior BoR member Shazar Shamoon also referred to some cases in which revenue officials collected the government dues but did not deposit them in the treasury. He added that they pocketed the amount after sharing it with their seniors.

The PAC meeting, presided over by its chairman Jam Tamachi Unnar, was held here to settle 27 draft paras of the BoR for the years 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 on account of revenue receipts.

It refused to settle any of the 27 paras and gave a last chance to the BoR for settling the paras by producing relevant record to auditors within 15 days. Otherwise, it warned, the matter would be referred to the assembly for necessary action.

The PAC also took serious notice of the failure of Tapedars (revenue official) to recover government dues and suggested that the authorities deduct outstanding amount from their salaries.

PAC members Shama Mithani, Ghulam Mujadid Isran, Aamir Moin Pirzada, Syed Bachal Shah and Shoaib Ibrahim said that it was not acceptable that the revenue officials did not recover government dues.

Mr Isran said that the possibility of embezzlement of the recovered dues of previous years could not be ruled out.

The PAC chief said if they did not realise dues like agriculture income tax, land tax and Abiana cultivators, who would have to pay a large amount of arrears, would be in trouble.

“Until the policy of tenure postings of secretaries, commissioners, deputy commissioners and other functionaries is pursued, one could not expect improvement in governance and functioning of any department,” observed the PAC chief.

He also asked the BoR to provide a list of cases pending with the board for settlement.

Mr Shamoon also referred to cases in which some officials, who had earlier failed to deposit the government dues in the treasury, deposited them in banks when they were given dismissal from service notices.

He gave the credit of whatever recovery shown by the revenue officials to the PAC.

He also informed the PAC that the BoR had transferred land to the Lyari Development Authority and the Malir Development Authority but neither authority was giving lease to those who had bought plots there.

According to the paras, Rs37.823 million was not realised on account of agriculture income tax, Rs90.072 million on account of land tax, Rs85.273 million Abiana, Rs28.140 million local cess, Rs8.381 million Ushr, and Rs66.071 million in the head of other accounts.