President Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF), Sahibzada Mian Usman Zulfiqar has urged the government to abolish all companies specific Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) issued in last fifteen years saying SRO culture has ruined the country’s economy besides adversely affecting the level playing field amongst all stake holders.
Talking to media persons here on Tuesday, he said that powerful lobbies have been given huge tax exemptions through SROs and that the whole tax system is now like an NRO for the elite class.
Usman Zulfiqar was of the view that the concessions and zero rating allowed through SROs should be routed through parliament and it should be the discretion of the latter to maintain or drop these concessions. Though the SRO culture was introduced in 90’s for political engineering through benefiting the individual businesses but needed to be eradicated to save the economy, he added.
He said that the Parliament itself lacks the moral muscle to play an effective role and, as such, has never challenged the FBR’s encroachment into its domain because it suits the interests of many of its members coming from the business class who have succeeded in this bargain by getting themselves virtually exempted from any tax on their income.
It was under the Customs Act of 1969 that Parliament had delegated powers of issuing the SROs to the FBR, but since it is more than manifest now that these powers have been and are being misused, the parliament should revisit the law and, if found necessary, it should be repealed, the PBF President urged.