FBR shushes media on amnesty scheme through notices

KARACHI: The tax authorities have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for launching the proposed tax amnesty scheme that even the media has been shushed through, what one might say, unethical move.
According to sources, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued 15 notices to different media groups and senior anchor persons highlighting serious discrepancies in their tax records.
“The sole purpose of these notices is to kill the resistance by media against the proposed tax amnesty scheme,” sources said.
The source further said that tax authorities were quite confident that the media houses and some particular anchor persons would not say a word against the tax amnesty scheme as their earnings, assets and tax records left a big question mark.
The amnesty scheme presently tabled before the upper house the Senate for debate and there were reports that most of the members had opposed the proposed plan of the government.
Earlier, the PM had approved the proposed amnesty scheme for giving an opportunity to tax dodgers for whitening their black money.
It may be mentioned here that Chairman FBR, Ali Arshad Hakim has said that meeting the revenue collection target widely depended on the tax amnesty scheme. The FBR chairman reportedly said that the proposed scheme would yield about Rs100 billion, which would help the revenue body to achieve Rs2381 billion collection target in FY13.
The amnesty scheme was conceived during last September and a draft was prepared by early October 2012. Uproar was seen in the media just after leakage of reports about the amnesty scheme, which was silenced through notices besides giving high priced advertisement on the electronic media as well as print media.
The FBR advertised widely during this period about displaying the NTN at business premises, which was already mandatory in the law. “It is kind of bribe,” many of tax officials commented.

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