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FBR tightening noose around tax evaders: Bajwa tells senate committee

FBR tightening noose around tax evaders: Bajwa tells senate committee

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Bajwa has said that FBR is tightening the noose around tax evaders including people who pay lesser amount of tax despite owing more to national exchequer.

He said this while attending a meeting of Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance.

Bajwa informed the committee that taxes will be levied on stock markets as well as a hundred thousand new taxpayers will be brought into the tax net each year. He told the committee that 810,000 people filed tax returns this year as compared to previous year’s 711,000 filers.

He regretted the fact that owners of plazas worth millions of rupees and millers who are establishing more and more factories are paying only few thousands in share of income tax.

To a query by newsmen, he pointed out that budget proposals and SROs are two separate issues. While further elaborating his point of view to media about authority to levy new taxes, he said that it rests with the government. However, Finance Ministry can increase or decrease taxes by issuing Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) as it has been empowered by Parliament through promulgation of relevant laws, he added. He said that levy of agricultural tax lies within the ambit of provincial jurisdiction.

Senate’s standing committee has recommended elimination or otherwise reduction of PDL on petroleum products. However, PML-N’s Members of National Assembly Rafique Rijwana and Nuzhat Sadiq showed opposition to the recommendations. FBR Chairman suggested in favour of targeted subsidy on petrol. The suggestion had been forwarded by Barristor Usman Saif.

Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood was also present during the meeting. He said that currently, petroleum development levy of Rs 8 per litre on diesel and Rs 10 per litre on petrol is being received. During the present month, instead of increasing petroleum prices, the government has taken the burden onto itself. This has resulted in loss of 1.8 billion rupees to national exchequer.

Finance Secretary further said that world’s least amount of taxes are levied in Pakistan to which committee members replied that world’s least incomes are also reserved for Pakistan. The committee rejected the presentation from Pakistan ex-Servicemen Society.