ISLAMABAD-The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Wednesday has expressed its dissatisfaction on the presentation given by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on tax refunds paid in last fiscal year.

The meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs was held under the chairmanship of MNA Mr. Faiz Ullah. The Committee welcomed Javed Ghani, the newly appointed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman and recommended that he should continue to work for smooth and effective functioning of the department.

Member (Inland Revenue) Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed briefed the Committee about the refunds issued by the FBR in respect of Income Tax, Sales Tax and Customs. He informed the committee that FBR had paid Rs174.8 billion tax refunds in previous fiscal year. Giving breakup, he said that FBR had paid Rs67.7 billion refunds in income tax, Rs95.5 billion refunds in sales tax and Rs12.2 billion in customs in year 2019-20.

However, the Committee expressed its dissatisfaction on the presentation given by the Member (Inland Revenue). The committee members asked about the total amount of tax refunds, which are pending from last several years. However, the FBR officials could not present such details. Later, the committee has directed the FBR for comprehensive briefing in the today’s (Thursday) meeting.

Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd. (ZTBL) President, briefed the Committee about the situational analysis and suggestions for way forward of the Bank. He said that the Finance Division has constituted an Advisory Committee on 15-5-2020 for restructuring of the ZTBL. The Committee expressed its displeasure on the delay for formulation of Board of Directors of the Bank by the Government and directed the Finance Division for apprising the Committee in this respect in the tomorrow meeting. The Committee expressed its concern over less disbursement of agriculture loans to the farmers by the ZTBL as compared to previous years. The Committee Members were of the view that the Government should analyse the current situation before carrying reforms in the Bank.

While considering the implementation status on previous recommendations of the Committee regarding purchase of pulses (Dal Channa), the Committee decided that Managing Director, Utility Stores Corporation (USC) should attend the tomorrow meeting personally.

Hamid Attique, Member-IR (Policy) informed the Committee that “The Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019” (XIII of 2019), laid in the National Assembly on 11-11-2019, was lapsed on 30-5-2020, however, the objectives of the said Ordinance were got approved in “The Finance Bill, 2020”. He further informed that “The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019”, was also incorporated in “The Finance Bill, 2020”, therefore, the same has been repealed and the FBR has withdrawn the said Bill.

The meeting was attended by MNAs, Makhdoom Syed Sami-ul-Hassan Gillani, Mr. Jamil Ahmed Khan, Mr. Faheem Khan, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Chaudhary Khalid Javed, Mr. Ali Perviz, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Ms. Nafisa Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar and Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, MNAs were available on video conference. The meeting was also attended by the senior officers from M/o Finance and Revenue, Law and Justice, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).