PCCI to support Federal Tax Ombudsman in eradicating corruption and harassment by the tax collection machinery of FBR

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, has commended the efforts of the Office of Federal Tax Ombudsman of Pakistan in attempting to eradicate corruption and harassment by the tax collection machinery of FBR. FTO has rightfully identified FBR practices responsible for issuing fake, forged, illegitimate and fictitious notices to the business community and their banks to unlawfully take access to their bank details, transactions and balances, he added.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo maintained that this practice by FBR is an unlawful and questionable use of Section 176 of Income Ordinance 2001. He considers it an exercise and conspiracy against the economic growth and development of Pakistan. SMEs, in particular, are more vulnerable and prone to this kind of abuse by the authorities, as they can not hire expensive lawyers and spend their time challenging the unfair notices at the relevant legal forums.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said that he is pleasantly surprised the accountability being carried out by the honourable FTO without any fear, interference and vested interests in this regard, for which the investigation be done and exemplary punishments be given by FTO to tax officials found responsible on account of issuing fake and unauthorised notices by tax officials to access bank accounts; instead of recommending FBR to probe the misuse of authorities by its tax officials; which internal inquiries by FBR in most of the cases remain dormant and inconclusive. Resultantly, the corrupt and compromised officials in the tax collection machinery have joined hands against even the inspections ordered by FTO by filing unauthorised petitions against the office of FTO. President FPCCI wondered if the government authorised tax machinery officials to challenge the constitutional office of FTO in ordering inspections per law.

President FPCCI demands that the prime minister take cognisance of tax officials’ unauthorised acts by filing petitions in PHC, which has dismissed the petition before the high court; against rightfully given inspection orders by FTO to taxation Machinery. It is pertinent to note that the office of FTO is constitutionally protected. The business, industry and trade community of Pakistan will stand united against any illegitimate pressure and hurdles being put forward in the discharge of the constitutional duties by FTO.

FPCCI Chief applauded the assertions by FTO that FBR needs to devise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for invoking Section 176; else, it will continue to indulge in maladministration at the expense of the business community.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, as President FPCCI, has reiterated that misuse of powers by FBR must end & responsible practices should prevail. FPCCI – the apex & representative platform of the entire business community of Pakistan – is ever willing & ready to help resolve all taxation issues through dialogue, consultation and bridging ever-protruding gaps with the policymakers, he added.

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