ISLAMABAD   -   Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) has directed all Superintending Engineers to ensure that all the applicants of commercial and industrial power connections should be income tax return filers.

FESCO has asked all Superintending Engineers to compile with Section 181 AA of Income Tax Ordinance-2001which makes it binding on person applying for electricity connection to be registered under section 181 of the said ordinance. FESCO has followed the directives of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which had asked the power minister for the implementation of Section 181AA of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, which stipulates that any application for commercial or industrial connection of electricity or gas shall not be processed and provided unless the person is an income tax return filer.

It is worth mentioning here that the number of tax filers is increasing due to the efforts of the government. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had received 2.5million income tax returns for Tax Year 2018, depicting over 47 percent growth in number of filers as compared to 1.7 million returns received last fiscal year. The FBR has received highest ever returns during the tax year 2018. In last one year, around 7,50,000 new people have filed their income tax returns. The FBR had set a target to receive 4 million income tax returns by the end of December, 2019.

Apart from power ministry, Chairman FBR Syed Shabbar Zaidi had sent letters to Managing Directors Sui Northern Gas Company Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited wherein he has requested that consumers not present on Active Tax Payers List under Section 181A of Income Tax Ordinance-2001 may not be provided commercial and industrial gas connections. Section 181 AA states that “Notwithstanding anything contained in any law, for the time being in force, any application for commercial or industrial connection, of electricity or gas shall not be processed and such connection, shall not be provided unless the person applying for electricity or gas connection is registered under Section 181. This provision of law, which contains a ‘non-obstante’ clause overriding other laws for the time being in force mandatorily requires every person who is provided a commercial or industrial gas connection to be on Active Taxpayers List of the FBR. Chairman has stated in the letter that many users of commercial and industrial gas connection do not fall within ATL of the FBR. Chairman had requested that the list of all persons using industrial and commercial gas connections be shared with FBR as soon as possible. Moreover, intimation may be issued by the company to the users of such connections to comply with the aforesaid conditions laid down under the Income Tax law.