FBR fails to recover Rs 119 billion tax from Malik Riaz: report
29 August, 2013
LAHORE: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has failed to recover Rs 119 billion tax from Malik Riaz on his publicly declared assets of Rs 225 billion, a national daily reported on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, Transparency International (TI) Pakistan Adviser Syed Adil Gilani in a letter sent to Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Bajwa on August 27 regretted that even after seven reminders sent to the FBR chairman, TI Pakistan had not been informed about the tax collected on Malik Riaz's publicly declared assets of Rs 225 billion.
The TI Pakistan reportedly referred to its letter dated September 4, 2010, on a news published on September 1, 2010, with the following request, "Transparency International Pakistan requests the FBR chairman to provide information to Transparency International Pakistan on the total value of assets of Malik Riaz as assessed by the FBR in accordance with the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, including the income tax and capital value tax paid in 2009 on assets worth over Rs 225 billion ($3 billion). In case these assets have not been declared to the FBR in 2009-2010 returns of Malik Riaz, Transparency International Pakistan requests the FBR to take action according to the law. TI Pakistan is working for the FBR to become a 'Zero Tolerance against Corruption' organisation."
Referring to TI Pakistan's letters dated June 12, 2012, December 8, 2012, December 29, 2012, and February 13, 2013, Adil Gilani urged the FBR to take immediate measures in accordance with the rules and regulations to recover Rs 119 billion from Malik Riaz. He recalled that on June 18, 2012, TI Pakistan had reported to the FBR a similar information for the recovery of due taxes (if not already recovered) on an apartment worth $1.2 million owned by Najam Sethi in New York.
The FBR had very promptly issued a notice to Najam Sethi on August 31, 2012.
According to the requirement of law, on April 24, 2103, the FBR issued orders to recover Rs 10.26 million from Najam Sethi. Contrary to this case, the FBR has not taken similar action for the recovery of Rs 119 billion from Malik Riaz, which is favouritism by the FBR to a tax evader, the daily reported.
On January 3, 2013, the FBR informed TI Pakistan vide letter No 6(12) S(IR-Operations)/2012-15762-R, that the case had been sent to the field office concerned for taking cognisance of the tax evasion in the subject case, and again on March 21, 2013, the FBR informed TI Pakistan vide letter No 6(12) S(IR-Operations)/2012 that progress report on the tax recovery from Malik Riaz Hussain from Islamabad and Lahore RTO chief commissioners and LTU chief commissioners had been requested.
Adil Gilani requested the FBR chairman to provide information to TI Pakistan whether the tax recovery of Rs 119 billion had already been made from Malik Riaz Hussain. In case the recovery is still outstanding, the chairman has been asked to make the recovery possible.
He highlighted that any action to provide illegal benefit in any taxation matter amounted to corrupting and corrupt practice under Section 9 (vi) of NAB Ordinance 1999, which reads as follows:
(vi)) (if he misuses his authority so as to gain any benefit or favour for himself or any other person, or [renders or attempts to render) [or wilfully fails to exercise his authority to prevent the grant, or rendition of any undue benefit or favour which he could have prevented by exercising his authority]; (vii) if he has issued any directive, policy, or any SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) or any other order which grants or (attempts to grant) any (undue) concession or benefit in any taxation matter or law or otherwise so as to benefit himself or any relative or associate or a benamidar (or any other person)."