No surprise visits to business premises: FBR Chairman

Salim Ahmed


Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Dr. Muhammad Irshad has said that no surprise visits of business premises would be conducted as he wants to establish friendly relations with business community.
He was talking to the LCCI President Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, former office-beares and Executive Committee Members at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Mian Muhammad Ashraf, Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Malik Tahir Javed, Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Aftab Ahmad Vohra, Kashif Anwar, Zeeshan Khalil, Awais Saeed Piracha, Mian Muhammad Nawaz, Adnan Khalid Butt, Salman Basit, Mian Abdul Razzaq, Syed Mukhtar Ali, Tanvir Ahmad Sufi and Chief Commissioner RTO-II Lahore Khawaja Adnan Zahir, Chief Commissioner LTU Lahore Zulqernain Tirmzi, Chief Commissioner CRTO Lahore Syed Nadeem Rizvi, Chief Collector Customs Lahore Ms. Zeba Hai and, Commissioner Zone-VII CRTO Lahore Mr. Mahmood Jafri, FBR Foundation Islamabad Saleem Ranjha spoke on the occasion.
Chairman FBR spent over two hours here at LCCI and promised to facilitate them to the maximum. He said that the growth of private sector would help increase revenue. “We are friends. We should not see each other as rivals or hostile as our objective is same.” He said that misunderstanding is the major reason of problems therefore regular liaison with the business community is being ensured to tackle this issue. He suggested formation of an Advisory Committee having representatives from public and private sectors.
He said that number of filers has jumped to 1.4 million from 0.7 million while tax rate is being reduced 1% annually since this government came into power. He said that filers would be facilitated and nobody would be allowed to tease or harass them, as they are backbone of the economy. He said that refunds of Rs.57 billion have already been given while issue of remaining would be resolved soon.
He said that there is no tax on input or output in zero rated regime while government giving maximum facilities to the export-oriented industry.
He said that there would be no surprise inspection of the business premises. Concerned businessmen would be informed well before the time and all work would be done in friendly atmosphere. He urged the businessmen to cooperate with the department for pending audit cases. He said that forthcoming budget is well consulted and based on the theme of revival of the economy.
Chairman FBR urged the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry to forward its proposals regarding two percent withholding tax on non-filers, Poultry sector, establishment of National Revenue Authority and Appellant Tribunal and to the FBR for consideration.
The LCCI President Abdul Basit highlighted the areas where the trade and industry expects relief from the FBR. He said that the policies should be aimed at widening the tax net rather than taxing the already taxed. There is a strong need for long term planning and consistency in policies. He said tax returns and other documents are modified each year which creates confusion.
He said thaat increasing tax revenues and decreasing number of tax filers is an ample proof of the fact that FBR is putting additional burden to the existing taxpayers. He said that share of industry in tax collection is around 76% that is dwindling the competitive edge of the industry and affecting the exports. He said that LCCI members are paying tax in Sindh and than in Punjab for same consignment that is double taxation. LCCI has given suggestion to the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) to give authority to a single agency for tax collection. Federal government should also form a National Revenue Authority to collect all taxes once in a year. It would reduce frequency of the taxes and protect business community from the officials of various departments.
Abdul Basit said that there should be independent tribunal for tax related cases and decision on appeal should be made within 90 days. Furthermore, no recovery should be made before the decision of tribunal. He said that stuck-up refunds should be released within 60 days and in case of delay, concerned department should pay markup on KIBOR rates.
He said that adjustment of sales tax deducted in gas and electricity bills of zero-rated sectors is not working properly. He said that there is no tax on agriculture sector of Pakistan while tax is imposed on livestock that is also a sub-sector of agriculture. He said that poultry feed costs 70% of the total input of this sector. He suggested that to increase the exports of poultry, around 62% duty should be withdrawn on raw material being used in burger patty and nuggets etc.
The LCCI President said that food sector should also be given zero-rated facility to get due share in global Halal trade of $ 300 billion. He said that duty on those raw materials should be abolished that are not being produced in Pakistan. He said that 6.5% duty on acrylic raw material should also be withdrawn. He also expressed views on the issues of raids at business premises and bank account attachment.

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