Businessmen, bureaucracy on the radar as sensitive agencies now targeting economic terrorism
KARACHI: Sensitive intelligence agencies have planned a massive crackdown on economic terrorism, and special teams have been formed to look into the affairs of big businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians to identify tax evasion, smuggling and money laundering. These agencies have initiated this campaign against economic terrorism on the directives of Army Chief. Referring to the traders’ strike, sources said only a handful of traders were resorting to protests and strikes to protect the trade in smuggled goods. Sources said the condition imposed by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that copy of NIC would be provided on transactions above Rs50,000 would discourage illegal trade, and removal of this condition is the one-point agenda of protesting traders. Sources said the traders were being used by certain unscrupulous elements that wanted illegal trade and smuggling to continue in the country, so that the entire economic system could be crippled. This NIC condition is basically to discourage trade in smuggled goods and the authorities would not remove this condition. Sources said these traders had no other issues as no new tax had been imposed. The traders misusing the concessionary SROs such as SRO 1125(I)/2011 are also perturbed. Addressing the leading businessmen of the country recently, the army chief hailed the services rendered by the business community for Pakistan, adding that with their efforts the country will move forward in the comity of the nations. He also assured the businessmen solution of their genuine concerns. Later, the prime minister in his meeting with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan's development was linked to the economy and added that the government was committed to providing "all possible facilities" to the business community for profitable business activities. Sources said the menace of smuggling would be eliminated in few months which would bode well for the local manufacturing and country’s economy, and in turn this would benefit the masses. It may be mentioned here that hundreds of fake companies were registered with the Inland Revenue for claiming bogus refund through flying invoices, misuse of concessionary SROs and government revenue evasion. Similarly, Green Channel facility was largely misused as shady companies were given green channel status and scrap and used clothing were included in the green channel causing huge loss to the national exchequer. The special teams formed by sensitive agencies are investigating whether the enablers of all these scams were only doing corruption or they were moving some foreign anti-Pakistan agenda. It was also known that teams of sensitive agencies are also analyzing the role of judiciary in tax related cases, the amount of government revenue stuck in litigation and other affairs. The people know that Pakistan’s armed forces have eliminated the terrorism from the country which is evident from the fact that there have been no terrorist incidents in the country. Now the forces are targeting the economic terrorism, and it is hoped that the menace would be rooted out soon. Sources said the judiciary and politicians chanting supremacy of democracy had caused irreparable loss to the nation, and it is time things are straightened up at any cost, while a presidential system type setup cannot be ruled out.