LAHORE - The business community has called for making the FBR an independent institution, setting it free from any influence of the government and political victimisation.

“When tax department has already been declared as an independent and autonomous institution under the Act 2007, then why government imposes decisions on it through Finance Division and Establishment Division, asked APAT Central general secretary Naeem Mir.

He said that government should devise some rules under the constitution to appoint the FBR chief on the patron of appointment of Election Commission Chairman. The tenure of FBR head should be fixed for at least four years with a view to continuation of policies and for this purpose necessary legislation should be made, he added.

All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran leader suggested the government to give the Board financial autonomy, allocating funds for it in federal budget every year, which could be spent on capacity building of its staff. Besides, he stressed the need for introducing reforms in the tax department, and purchase new equipment besides implementing unique methods to enhance tax net.

He recommended the FBR to issue list of top 100 taxpayers every year and the companies should be bestowed with civil awards for paying highest tax to encourage them. He further asked the government to launch anti-smuggling force, which should be run directly under the FBR command.

He made it clear that without paying taxes no country can survive and government should impose income tax on agricultural income also. He said that business community has never asked for imposition of tax on poor farmers but tax should be equally levied.

He said that agriculture sector contributes over 23 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Production and yet accounts for less than 1 per cent of the government revenues.