FBR chief holds weekly E-Kutcheri

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Raza Kazmi

ISLAMABAD: Building further on the E-Kutcheries held regularly to maximize outreach and also to comply with the directions of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)/Secretary Revenue Division, Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed held yet another Weekly E-Kutcheri at FBR (HQs) on Friday to listen to the complaints and concerns of taxpayers. This is in continuation of holding weekly E-Kutcheri by the Chairman FBR after he decided to hold it on every Friday in order to expedite redressal of grievances of taxpayers.
He listened to the complaints of the taxpayers and issued on-spot directions for immediate resolution of complaints. He also advised the taxpayers to visit their nearest RTO and Collectorate of Customs for redressal of any problem confronted by them.
The Chairman FBR appreciated the suggestions put forth by the taxpayers and assured them that their valued input would be duly considered for formulation of tax policies and initiatives for taxpayers’ facilitation. He reaffirmed that FBR was making all out efforts to facilitate the taxpayers.
The Chairman FBR has already issued categorical directions to all Field Formations for according top priority to the grievances and concerns of all taxpayers, particularly, related to females and those belonging to remote and marginalized areas of Pakistan.
Needless to add that the weekly E-Kutcheri being held by Chairman FBR on regular basis is not only contributing significantly to the timely redressal of the grievances of taxpayers but it is also aimed at keeping a strong check on the performance of the Field Formations.
The Chairman FBR has already instructed all Field Formations to resolve the outstanding issues of taxpayers and made it clear that any negligence in this regard will not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, while chairing an important meeting in FBR Headquarter on 1st April, 2022, (Friday) Chairman FBR Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed reviewed progress regarding determination of quota for import of raw material on the basis of installed capacity for the industrial units located in erstwhile FATA/PATA. The participants of meeting were informed that out of total 140 units of steel , oil and ghee, plastics and textile etc. in erstwhile FATA/ PATA identified for joint survey for determination of manufacturing capacity, reports about 58 units have been sent to the FBR, while reports of 20 more units were in the pipeline. The Director General IOCO stated that the survey and reports on the remaining units will be completed in couple of weeks. Chairman FBR directed that exercise/survey to determine the installed capacity needed to be completed by 15th April, 2022 positively.
It was also decided that exemptions under Sixth Schedule of Sales Tax Act, 1990 and Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 will not be available to industrial units beyond their quota determined on the basis of their installed capacity after 15th April, 2022. It was reported that some of industrial units were delaying the exercise on frivolous grounds. However, such units will not be allotted any quota to import raw materials after completion of the exercise. Chairman FBR reiterated that the business community should play its positive role to complete this survey so that misuse of exemption of taxes in these areas could be discouraged and thus a level playing field may be ensured to industries located in all parts of the country.
It is pertinent to mention that at the time of merger of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas/Provincially Administered Tribal Areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018, tax exemptions had been granted to these areas for 5 years upto June 30, 2023. Currently several industrial units located in these areas are manufacturing different goods including Iron & Steel, Plastic, Ghee, Textile, Plastic etc.
These units import raw material through sea port at Karachi without payment of Sales Tax and Income Tax. However, these units are required to sell the finished goods only in the newly merged Districts of erstwhile FATA/PATA and not in the tariff areas/other Districts of the Province or in other Provinces.
To frustrate and prevent the misuse of facility of exemption of taxes on the import of raw materials by these units, different measures are being taken by FBR including escort of containers from Azakhail Dryport to the location of the concerned unit.
The meeting was attended by Member IR Operations, Member IR Policy, Member Customs Policy, Director General Input Output Coefficient Organization (IOCO), Chief Commissioner Peshawar, Chief Collector Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, concerned Collector Customs, Commissioner IR, Director IOCO and other senior officers of FBR.