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No more raids on businesses

RECENT raids by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on business facilities including deployment of officials at sugar mills and big retailers to scrutinise their accounts, stocks and supplies had greatly perturbed businessmen who termed the tax collection body’s move as an attempt to harasses and intimidate them. The FBR had taken a decision in this regard following failure of many businessmen to file their tax returns as well as to meet revenue collection target set for current fiscal year.
Addressing a large gathering of business community at Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Karachi on Saturday, Chairman FBR Jehanzaib Khan allayed the concerns of entrepreneurs saying that no more raids will be carried out on business premises and show cause notices already issued in this respect will be withdrawn. Definitely when the government is pursuing the course of facilitating businessmen and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the FBR needs to take business community on board in order to bring evaders into the tax net instead of resorting to measures that create an environment of fear and panic amongst entrepreneurs and investors to shift their investment to some other place, and this will only add to economic problems of the country. It is heartening to note that the Chairman FBR has also appointed a focal person to take stock of issues and problems of trade and industry which may arise due to misuse of discretionary powers of FBR officials and harassing businessmen. There have been instances where the FBR officials have been found involved in abuse of power and strict action needs to be taken against them.
It is also important for business community to come forward and help the FBR in identifying the black sheep and tax evaders in their ranks, as without enhancing our revenues we cannot achieve self-reliance and break the begging bowl. Also it’s imperative that the FBR immediately put in place technology solutions to identify tax evaders. Cooperation of NADRA in this regard can also prove to be very fruitful. Simplification of tax system will also go a long way in adding a good number of people to the tax net.