PESHAWAR -  A group of factory owners and industrialists have expressed serious concerns over raids on factories and alleged that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is harassing industrialists.

Speaking at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club here on Tuesday, Hayatabad Industrial Estate Association Peshawar President Ghazanfar Bilour said that the FBR Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Inland Revenue (IR) Peshawar carried out raids on factories under the section 21. He said the officials of FBR are misusing the stated section and targeting genuine taxpayers.

It is pertinent to mention here that the local police also booked Bilour on charges of rioting, confinement of public officials and criminal intimidation after he allegedly stopped the FBR officials from confiscating records of MKB, whose office was raided on suspicion of tax evasion. MKB Pharmaceutical is a concern of the MKB group which deals in a wide range of industries including Pharmaceuticals, furniture and plastic products.

The association former president, Malik Niaz, Umar Khan Zarkori, Tariq Rana and a number of factory owners were also present in the press conference. Bilour said that a team of FBR Inland Revenue Directorate of I&I raided the MKB Pharmaceutical company. He also alleged that the factory owners were harassed by the deputy director and his team and they have taken away all computerised record and confidential documents along with cash from the company.

He said, “When I got informed about the raids of the FBR team on MKB and on other factories in Hayatabad Industrial Estates, I drove along with the association former president Malik Niaz to the spot. We then protested against the officials for breaking the main gate of MKB and harassment of factory owners by the deputy director and his team members, and told them that it was completely illegal act,” he added.

The association president alleged that the FBR team then went off from the MKB factory after intimidation and threatening of dire consequences over tax evasion. Later, he said an FIR was registered against him and former president of the industrial estate, Malik Niaz, with the local police.

“We regularly paying multi-form of taxes, including sales tax, income tax, professional tax, excise duty, infrastructure development cess, social welfare EOBI and other taxes,” Bilour added. He also said that it was totally wrong and illogical to intimidate and harass factory owners despite they are paying out all kind levies.

He said that business community already been adversely affected due to prolonged terrorism in the province. He said the government should extend incentives to mitigate sufferings of terrorism-hit industries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) rather to further push them in the crisis situation.

He claimed that attempts were being made to harass business community in the name of new taxes, which was unacceptable to them. He threatened to launch a protest movement across the province in consultation with all chambers of commerce and association of industrial estates.