ISLAMABAD: A meeting of local business community was held at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry under the chair of Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President ICCI to express resentment against the FBR raids on business premises. ICCI Executive Members, former Presidents, senior members and representatives of market associations were present at the occasion. Through a resolution, Asad Umar Federal Finance Minister was asked to stop the FBR raids on various businesses because such tactics were creating harassment in the business community.
Addressing the meeting, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that instead of bringing new taxpayers into the tax net, FBR was milking the existing taxpayers for more tax revenue and thus making their life miserable. He said that if FBR has complaint against any taxpayer, the inquiry procedure was defined in the law. However, conducting raids on business premises along with a large number of officials, taking record and computers into possession, arresting counter persons, showing rude behavior towards the employees and sealing businesses were the measures that were very insulting to the taxpayers. He said when the non-filers were seeing such coercive measures of FBR against the regular taxpayers, they were preferring to evade tax payment instead of coming into the tax net. He said if FBR wanted to take action against any taxpayer on genuine complaint, it should first take ICCI or concerned market association on board so that with mutual efforts, such complaints could be resolved. He demanded that Asad Umar should conduct inquiry against such tactics of FBR and fines received from taxpayers coercively should be returned to them.
Speaking at the occasion, Zubair Ahmed Malik, former President FPCCI and Chairman Founder Group said that FBR raids on business premises were creating resentment in the business community against the current government. He said government should look into this approach of FBR as it seemed to be a conspiracy to pit the business community against the current government.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President, Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President ICCI, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi Vice President FPCCI, Mian Akram Farid, Tariq Sadiq, Khalid Iqbal Malik, Zafar Bakhtawari, Ch. Waheed ud Din, Nasir M. Qureshi and representatives of local markets also spoke at the occasion and called upon the FBR to stop raids on businesses as these tactics would prove counterproductive and more harmful for the economy.
The business community at the occasion also condemned the terrorist attack on two Mosques in New Zealand, expressed condolences for the bereaved families and offered prayers for those who lost their lives.