KARACHI - Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Mahmood Pasha has termed the business community and tax collecting authority as ‘partners’ and assured to award due consideration to KCCI’s suggestions in dealing with some of the pressing issues pertaining to revision of regulatory duty on imported items, refund claims, audit, discretionary powers and other serious issues being faced by the business and industrial community.

Speaking at an interactive session during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday, Tariq Pasha advised KCCI to formulate different committees in order to come up with workable solutions for dealing with numerous taxation issues, budgetary measures, refunds claims, audit or any other issue. “Without taking the business community into confidence, the taxation system simply cannot move forward”, he added.

Tariq Pasha said that FBR has witnessed growth in its revenue collection and returns filed so far. The credit for this growth can be attributed to government’s initiatives and improved performance of numerous domestic sectors including the manufacturing sector. A total of 1,075,000 returns have been filed as on December 19, 2017, indicating an upsurge of 26 percent as compared to last year.

To deal with pending refund claims, Tariq Pasha offered that FBR can pick up 100 cases of substantial refunds on random basis whose refund payment orders have not been issued and are blacklisted or deferred. These cases will be brought to relevant Associations’ notice in order to probe their genuineness and upon certification by the concerned Association, FBR will decide these cases.

Referring to the list of items included in the regulatory duty list, Chairman FBR admitted that the list contains some analytical errors which will be rectified soon by revising it.

Commenting on concerns expressed by participants of the meeting over massive discretionary powers to FBR officers which were grossly being misused, Chairman FBR stated that all such discretionary powers cannot be completely removed but he will ensure that these discretionary powers are minimized.

He said that he was personally not satisfied from the Audit which should only be used as a tool for deterrence. In this regard, he advised KCCI to give suggestions on how to improve the audit procedures.

In response to concerns expressed over lack of coordination between FBR and Sindh Revenue Board, Tariq Pasha said that both, FBR and provincial revenue authorities are now working closely to resolve numerous taxation issues.

He assured to once again visit Karachi Chamber in the month of January 2018 to thoroughly review and further discuss KCCI’s suggestions on how to deal with taxation issues being faced by the business community. Responding to concerns expressed over Section 176, he assured that this section will also be reviewed in order to provide relief to the business community.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala pointed out that although RD has been imposed to lessen the imports and enhance the exports but its imposition on basic raw materials will prove to be counterproductive as the exports will descend. Many importers of raw materials are not finding it feasible to clear goods from Ports at such exorbitant rates after the imposition of RD hence, the FBR has to review the unjust RD on raw material in consultation with stakeholders. “Instead of imposing RD, the government’s intention should be to make the manufacturing sector stronger and create a substitute for the imports within the country, which is the right approach”, he added.