ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa on Tuesday informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sub-committee that steps are being taken to identify the hidden economy in the country and to curb it.
Briefing the sub-committee meeting held under the chairmanship of Sardar Ashiq Gopang, the FBR chairman said the informal economy has a big share and people were not too forthcoming with regards to paying their due share of taxes.
Bajwa said the FBR was collecting data of those people who don’t file tax returns from their expenditures including purchase of vehicles, foreign travelling record, fee of children and electricity bills if these add up to being more than Rs200,000 and Rs50,000, respectively. The FBR was also issuing more notices after identifying non-tax filers through this mechanism and collecting money for the national exchequer, he added.
Bajwa further stated the Parliament passed the law under 565(A) under which banks would be bound to provide information about more than Rs1 million transactions of the citizens. This law was challenged in the Lahore High Court, but FBR won the case, added Bajwa. However, the petitioner filed Intra Court Appeal (ICA) against the decision of the single bench. In response to this, the Chairman Sub-Committee of the PAC, Gopang, said the FBR should get direct access to the bank for a smooth system of tax collection.
Gopang also asked the FBR chairman to evolve a mechanism to verify staff attendance all across the country via thumb impressions. This, he suggested, would make FBR a more efficient organisation. The chairman said the system was installed in the headquarters and will be placed in all offices soon.
PAC sub-committee also reviewed the audit paras of the Pakistan International Airlines for fiscal year of 2005-06 and expressed displeasure over the theft of two multimedia gadgets, and directed Aviation secretary to hold an inquiry and take action against responsible officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2015.
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