LAHORE, April 9: Tax department officials took to the streets across the country on Tuesday to press the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) high-ups for representation in the management of the employees’ foundation.

Under the banner of the Federal Revenue Alliance, the registered CBA of FBR employees, the workers staged demonstrations outside board’s regional offices in Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and other cities.

In Lahore, the employees gathered outside the Nabha Road regional tax office while shouting slogans against FBR Member Legal Aqil Usman, accusing him of creating hurdles in the way of workers’ representation in the management of the newly-formed FBR Foundation, in his capacity as its head.

The workers lamented 93.5 per cent non-gazetted staff of the FBR had no representation in the management of the foundation. They said the union had already sought changes in the basic rules of the foundation through proper channel and demanded their charter of demands be fulfilled.

Union Central President Mian Abdul Qayyum urged the authorities to take steps to expedite liaison with the workers, calling them the backbone of the tax department.

Expressing serious concern over evasion of billions of rupees in tax by around 1,200 “foreign companies or non-resident Association of Persons (AOPs)”, he asked the authorities to recover all outstanding dues, as a circular regarding annulment of tax exemption to all AOPs had already been issued. He also proposed re-opening of cases under Section 122 for the last five years and also recovery of revenue loss of trillions caused in those years.

Qayyum said like previous years the employees’ union would continue to support the FBR revenue collection drive but the department would have to facilitate them by fulfilling their longstanding demands.

Later, the demonstrators dispersed peacefully. — Staff Reporter

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