KCCI rejects FBR decision to again empower IR officers

Staff Reporter BOL News

12th Oct, 2021. 07:43 pm

KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Tuesday rejected the decision to restore the powers of the Inland Revenue (IR) officers for recovery through freezing of bank accounts without prior information, a statement said.

KCCI president Muhammad Idrees said: “The business community of Karachi rejects the decision with an appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to direct the FBR from taking this anti-business approach, as it is going to prove counter-productive to all the efforts being made by the government for ease of doing business.”

This would open up a floodgate of corruption, as it would provide yet another tool to the FBR officials to harass the business community, he added.

The KCCI president said at a time when the business confidence had just started to revive, the latest decision of the FBR backtracked all the measures taken towards creating a conducive business environment.

The FBR has withdrawn the over two-year-old instructions that had been issued to bar the IR Officers from taking money without prior intimation to the accountholders. The business and industrial community strongly condemns this move based on the fact that this notification was issued after a very detailed deliberation with the then FBR chairman Shabbar Zaidi, he said.

Idrees feared that revoking the clause would be extremely detrimental to the economy, as the business transactions will suddenly get stuck without the businessman knowing the reason.

Any interruption in the flow of funds will also create distrust in foreign buyers, which will ruin the integrity and reputation of the Pakistani businessmen.

“It will have severely negative repercussions and irreversible loss to the economy and business. It will also dent the drive of broadening the tax base which is also against the national interest.”

“Current times require added confidence of entrepreneurs and investors but due to this step, the confidence level will go down in a very crucial era when we need investment and to create employment and exports.”

“This decision has to be straightaway withdrawn without a second thought in mind,” he added.

Referring to the last meeting of the KCCI delegation with the finance minister in Islamabad, the chamber chief said, the lawmakers have been assuring full support to the businessmen and simplifying the taxation laws but those discretionary powers, which were widely opposed by the business community in the past were again being returned at the commissioner level, which was beyond the understanding.

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