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PAC recommended to NA to block NICs of tax defaulters

26 April, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly on Tuesday recommended that the national identity cards (NICs) of tax defaulters be blocked and an article to this effect be included in the new finance bill.

The committee, which met on Tuesday at Parliament House, also recommended blocking the NICs of those who did not follow up on cases relating to tax fraud. PAC Head Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang said that those who committed fraud should not be forgiven.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Muhammad Irshad told the meeting that legislation would be required in order to block the NICs, adding that only the National Database and Registration Authority was empowered to do so.

PAC member Pervaiz Malik inquired whether the FBR could block the NICs of the owners of companies who did not pay their taxes. Irshad replied that the FBR did not have the authority to do so.

“If the PAC recommends it, we will include this article in the new finance bill,” Irshad said.

Malik noted that a business group in Faisalabad had defaulted on between Rs 12 billion and Rs 13 billion in taxes. “Not only should the NICs, but the passports of tax defaulters also be blocked,” he said.

The PAC had reviewed the FBR’s Inland Revenue Audit Report 2013-2014 and discovered anomalies worth Rs 169.74 billion. According to the report, 22 cases worth Rs 26.27 billion were pending in courts. The FBR had so far recovered Rs 20 billion. The FBR chairman said that attention was being paid to reforms in the legal department.

“Lawyers who are tasked with cases worth billions of rupees are only paid Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 per month. The PAC can legislate in Parliament in relation to pending cases,” Irshad said. “In order to have the pending cases resolved as soon as possible, the judiciary should be contacted through the attorney general,” he said.

The FBR chairman told the committee that PTCL, Southern Power, Liberty Power, Saba Power and Rosh Limited were amongst the biggest tax defaulters at the moment.

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