KARACHI: Engr. Daroo Khan Achakzai, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has urged the Prime Minister, Imran Khan to take note of the go-ahead signal given to FBR raiding teams for conducting raids – arbitrarily and unilaterally – on any premises without any warrant of area Magistrate, prior notice or allowing the accused a chance of explanation, on the pretext of leakage, prior to raids thus creating a great deal of concern and anxiety amongst the business circles.
He argued that it had created harassment and fear amongst the trade and industry as the discretionary power vested with FBR officials might be misused to serve their ulterior motives and is against the fundamental right of a citizen and Constitution of Pakistan.
This FBR step is contradictory to the Imran Khan’s recent statement for initiating business friendly economic and commercial policies in consultation with the apex trade body of the country, FPCCI as these policies have a direct bearing on trade and industry.
The FPCCI Chief in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, has appreciated the Prime Minister’s statement for initiating business friendly policies in consultation with FPCCI and for revamping of FBR if its performance is not improved upto the mark.
Engr. Daroo Khan Achakzai, President, FPCCI lamented, “ The FBR instead of setting its own house in order and identifying black sheeps in its ranks and files has again resorted to draconian law, which reminds of colonial rule, at the cost of business community “.
He added that it would serve as a disincentive for the potential taxpayers to come in the tax net and run as counter-productive to the government efforts of broadening of tax base through pursuation instead of prosecution.
He apprehended that it would also erode the confidence of a taxpayer in the tax law, a pre-requisite for success of any scheme.
Engr. Daroo Khan Achakzai citing another example of high handedness of FBR about exclusion of the names of those taxpayers from the Active List of Taxpayers (ATL) issued on 1-3-2019 who have filed their income tax returns by the extended due date, mainly because of overloading and slow speed of FBR system, has urged Imran Khan to classify them as Filers.
He argued, “This is against the true spirit of law and an anti-facilitation measure for taxpayers who have fulfilled their responsibility as compliant taxpayers.
It will also run as a counter-productive to the government efforts for broadening of tax base and documentation of economy. Furthermore it cannot be considered reasonable that these taxpayers will be treated as ‘non-filers’ and equating them with those non-filers who did not even bother to file returns at all and as such both should not be treated in the same manner because once the assessee had applied for extension of time under section 119 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, it was duty of the concerned commissioner to pass appropriate order on such application.
Admittedly, no order of rejection for grant of extension of time was passed by the commissioner. Under the circumstances, it cannot be presumed that the request for extension in time to file return of income, made by the taxpayer under the law stood declined U/S 119(3) by the Commissioner”.
The FPCCI President therefore proposed for inclusion of the names of those taxpayers who had duly applied for extension in filing of return of income and the rejection order of which was not passed by the commissioner and they filed return of income by the requested due date and also those taxpayers who are registered with FBR after June 2018 and are entitled for inclusion as per SR0 831(I)/2015 dated 21 August 2015, in the Active Taxpayer’s List issued by the FBR on March 1, 2019.