FPCCI opposes proposed FBR’s power of arrest on income concealment

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Wednesday slammed the proposed legal change that would allow the arrest of people concealing income on mere doubt by tax officers.

In a statement, FPCCI leader Haji Qurban Ali said that giving the right of raid on a trader’s outlet/ office on the basis of doubt is totally immoral behaviour and it is unfair. He said there are already differences between the business community and the institutes like Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and this proposed legal change will create lack of confidence between FBR and business community.

He said that FBR is historically habitual for harassment of businessmen and this environment has to be changed immediately if the government wants to build up business friendly relationships between FBR and trade and industry sector.

FPCCI leader Mirza Abdul Rehman said that the government should take back such decisions which affect businesses. He opposed the proposed legal change that would allow the arrest of people concealing income.

Earlier, FPCCI President Naaser Hyatt in a statement on behalf of the FPCCI, said that income tax is a civil liability and could not be treated as criminal liability. “This has always remained a civil matter historically.”

Naaser said section 203A will add to the already existing harassment of businessmen by tax officials through the issuance of several thousand notices. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin’s timely intervention has resulted in the withdrawal of a big number of notices issued to the businessmen.

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