SIALKOT - Pakistan Tax Bar Association Vice President Saqib Sheikh said that the government was making efforts to facilitate the taxpayers besides ensuring economic stability through expanding the tax net.

Talking to newsmen, he said that the federal government has recently passed the law to establish separate directorate of “Broadening of the Tax Base” in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). It would ensure maximum facilitation to the taxpayers and bring maximum people under the tax net by providing them with maximum incentives.

He added that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had also introduced Operational Database System under which its officials would have easy access to all the account holders’ bank accounts. He said that more than 50,000 audit cases have been lying pending at FBR across the country and the discouragement of the taxpayers by the FBR was the main reason behind the pendency. He said that the FBR should extend the final date of submission of the annual tax returns till December 31, 2017 to ensure the maximum submission of the tax returns by the tax-payers. He also urged the FBR to announce maximum tax-related incentives for the new taxpayers.

He said that the total number of taxpayers was 1.1 million across 16 years ago in 2001, adding that now the number also remained about the same despite the passage of 16 years as there was no considerable increase in the total number of the taxpayers.

He said that the total number of the bank accountholders was about 15 million across Pakistan and out of them about 3 million were doing taxable businesses but they were still not registered as taxpayers. He said that the FBR seemed to be unable to find out the new taxpayers due to the lack of positive and effective policies. He demanded early stoppage to FBR’s raids at the properties of the tax-defaulters. He expressed grave concern over the situation that the people are still unable to fill up their tax returns. He said that the simplification of the tax return forms was much needed as it had become demand of the day to facilitate the taxpayers.

Cops’ health situation alarming

A health team diagnosed 43 policemen with Hepatitis C in Daska, two with Hepatitis B and 75 cops with diabetes.

District Health Authority CEO Dr Latif Ahmed Sahi said that the authority set up a free blood-screening camp at Daska City police station, where complete blood screening of 408 policemen was conducted. He termed the situation alarming.

He added that the special teams of the health department were conducting complete medical examination of all the 1,741 senior and junior police officials and policemen. The Health Authority has set up testing camps at all the 27 police stations in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.

He said these teams were conducting laboratory tests of hepatitis A. B. C, diabetes , HIV, Blood Pressure and other tests at police station level besides ensure their complete medical checkup as well.