Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry asks Federal Board of Revenue not to act as “trouble-maker”

Lahore, June 30, 2015 (PPI-OT):The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has feared that Federal Board of Revenue would not be able to meet its revenue target set for the year 2015-16 if anti-business measures like raids on business premises and attachment of business accounts are not stopped.

In a statement issued here Tuesday, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that a number of LCCI members have complained that FBR officials are conducing raids at various business houses and have frozen their accounts without issuing any prior notice which against the ethics.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz urged the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to immediately stop the FBR from this practice that is pushing the tax payers to the wall besides denting the reputation of a business-friendly government.

He said that attachment of the bank accounts should be the last option but the RTOs/LTUs are wasting no time in taking punitive action to meet the revenue targets. He said that the Federal Board of Revenue was constituted to facilitate the businessmen but it is presently doing the other way round through.

“Federal Board of Revenue should not act as “trouble-maker” but to act as a facilitator in the larger interest of the business community, trade and economy.”

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that these acts of of the Federal Board of Revenue are not only defaming the government but also vitiating the business atmosphere in the province of Punjab.

The LCCI President said that the FBR should focus on controlling under-invoicing and curbing the menace of smuggling besides expanding tax net but it is playing arm-twisting by instituting cases for recovery of outstanding dues and attaching bank accounts.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that it is unfortunate that the FBR is not releasing what it owes to the business community but creating troubles for the businessmen for the recovery of its outstanding dues just to meet the revenue targets and for the sake of show of performance.

The LCCI President said that there should be a level-playing field in this regard. He said that if a tax defaulter is liable to penalties and attachment of bank accounts, the same should apply to FBR functionaries if they fail to release the valid refunds of the businessmen. Accountability in this regard would force the FBR officials to expedite the payment of refunds.

LCCI President also pointed out that it was very unfortunate that if the FBR initiates a case for recovery against any tax payer, he was not given any opportunity to plead his case as the FBR itself is complainant and itself a judge. What justice one can expect of such an institution, the LCCI president said.

He urged the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to immediately stop the FBR from conducting raids at business premises and attaching of business accounts that are pushing the tax payers to the wall besides denting the reputation of a business-friendly government.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-6368854