Dollar and Middle men behind inflation: Shabbar Zaidi

FAISALABAD: Chairman Federal Bureau of Revenue Shabbar Zaidi has said the reason behind inflation is dollar and middle man.

Talking to the media at the FBR regional office on Monday, he said no new tax was imposed in the budget except for sugar. There was also no hike in the Sales Tax. He said no container with imported items would be open and no accounts would be frozen without having explanation.

He challenged that if anybody points out any new tax, he will withdraw it. He said imposition of tax on sacrificial animals in the cattle market was a rumour.

He said the data of all generals, judges and FBR members had been inspected, why there was resistance to the condition of presenting CNIC.

He said the system could not be corrected without regulating the Afghan trade. He said industry and employment would have to be expanded to achieve success.

Earlier, addressing a meeting of the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), the FBR chairman said the tax system would be improved in consultation with the business community. He said no new taxes had been imposed and the problem was lack of awareness on the matter. He said a facility had been provided to file 2018 tax returns until August 2. He assured the business community that a committee would be constituted to redress theirgenuine concerns fomented after the recent budget.

Haji Aslam Bhalli, patron-in-chief of the Supreme Council of Anjuman-e-Tajran, announced calling off a strike on Zaidi’s assurance to withdraw the mandatory condition of providing CNICs of buyers.

Zaidi said the government was making serious efforts to redress genuine problems of the business community. Regarding exporters, he said a credible and efficient refund system would be evolved in consultation with them and in this connection; he invited the exporters to have a meeting with him in Islamabad. He announced accepting most of the proposals of the exporters and assured that in future their refund claims would not be deferred.

He said Rs 38 billion had been issued for the immediate payment of refund claims. In this connection, promissory notes are also available and the exporters could opt for these notes as and when required. He said he took important decisions to protect the business community and claimed that during his tenure, not even a single account had been attached. “Similarly, no active tax payer has been declared as non-active”, he added.

He said at present, 40 per cent cargo was imported through green channel and he had a proposal to increase its limit from 40 to 60 per cent. Commenting on liquidity problems, he said he could not make any decision alone. Hence, he requested the exporters to visit Islamabad so that this issue could be taken up with Hafeez Sheikh, advisor to PM on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs. He contradicted the impression that the government imposed new taxes. He said the government was only trying to ensure maximum recovery of previous taxes.

Regarding amnesty scheme, he said many businessmen could not avail this scheme due to blockage of the FBR system. Hence, their concerns would be resolved within the next couple of days through mutual consultation. He said the entire textile chain was registered in 2005. However, the government is trying to register the chain again. He assured that the government was ready to facilitate industrialists where there are genuine problems.

He said the CNIC issue had been deferred for the time being. Hence, the industrialists should run their units without any fear of harassment. Regarding raids on houses to recover gold and other valuable properties, he said the FBR had not issued any such directive.

This order has been issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). He assured that he had taken up this issue and this order was expected to be withdrawn very soon. No one would be allowed to harass the business community and if anybody dared to do so, he would be kicked out of the FBR.

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