Karachi March 27, 2012: Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Acting President Younus Muhammad Bashir in larger interest of the Nation and to help the Government of Pakistan in apprehending the unscrupulous elements for looting the national exchequer has proposed and requested the Chairman Federal Board of Revenue to bifurcate the list of tax-payer to whom notices were served under Section 8-A (37) to segregate the tax-payers who strictly abided the sales tax act while implementing section 73 and the real culprits/ dishonest elements who had received that money which was mandatorily to be deposited in the national exchequer. He voiced that Chambers and Associations do not support this small percentage of businessmen and would fully cooperate with FBR. He stated that the tax-payers who have duly discharged their tax liability may be served with showcause if necessary so that they furnish the required documents to satisfy the Collector accordingly. To restore the confidence in FBR, he further requested that till the time this list is bifurcated, the FIA be instructed not to initiative any further investigation process.
In a letter to Chairman FBR, Acting President Younus Muhammad Bashir has drawn his attention towards lacunas in the laws which let unscrupulous elements do away with these kind of fraudulent activities. Referring the meeting of KCCI delegation with Chairman FBR on 10th March, 2012 at Customs House Karachi wherein prolonged and threadbare discussions were made, he stated that as per the advise of Chairman FBR we have tried to understand the problem with the team of legal advisors and members with legal knowhow and also with number of people served with notices. He said that putting the matter in strict legal framework, notices which have been served under Section 8-A (37) are legally alright/fit but evaluating it in light of best business practices and sales tax act, the serving of notices and initiation of FIRs to the class of tax payers who strictly abided by the act, wherein section 73 has been implemented in letter and spirit, where banking instrument has been utilized for the transaction of funds and above all on the day of transaction the concerned party was not among the blacklisted tax-payers enlisted by FBR. Furthermore, he said that it is also the opinion of legal advisors that cheques which were issued in favour of the suppliers have been duly encashed into the accounts of the recipients that leave no legal cause for initiation of notice and what to talk about the FIR?
He said that in Chamber’s point of view after going through the this exercise, all those who matter, we at KCCI are of the firm opinion that 8-A can be termed as a “bad law” which fixes the liability of the payer and recipient on equal grounds. And on the very pretext many of the aggrieved tax-payers were granted stay by different courts in the first hearing. Therefore, in larger interest of the Nation and to help the Government of Pakistan in apprehending the unscrupulous elements for looting the national exchequer KCCI would like to propose that this subject list may be divided into two portions. First of those who have discharged their liabilities of sales tax strictly abiding by section 73 of the sales tax act and of the people who have received the money which mandatorily was to be deposited in the national exchequer who have not done so are the real culprits.
He requested the Chairman FBR to revisit said cases in the light of the experience and the positive contribution by Chambers and Associations. He also appealed to take an immediate decision in light of Chamber’s proposals so that justice prevails and those who abided by the law are saved from this unnecessary harassment.
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