The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has resented the forceful monitoring of stock, production and supply of manufactured goods by the field formation staff of FBR without any prior intimation or notice as it was having a negative impact on the smooth run of business activities besides adding to the cost of doing business and called upon the FBR authorities to take notice of this situation to save businesses from further troubles.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that as per amended Sales Tax Act 1990, only the FBR Inland Revenue was empowered to monitor stock, production and supply of taxable goods for sales tax purpose. However, it was observed that the Chief Commissioners and Commissioners were exercising these powers despite the withdrawal of the same through Finance Act 2018 to avoid abuse and misuse of the power by the field officers.
He said that the objective of Finance Act 2018 was to ensure collective consultation among all the members of the Board before bringing the field staff into action against any business concern and urged that the set procedures should be strictly followed in such cases.
ICCI President said that passing orders by individual officers was a violation of the intent, object and mandate of the law. He said that the exercise of powers vested in the Board should not be exercised by any other office unless specifically provided under the relevant law. He said that the provisions of Sec-40B should not be invoked in an arbitrary manner as the same were required to be exercised for some object, ground or purpose that was legitimately and lawfully within the contemplation of the Act.
He emphasized that there was no justification for posting officers on the business premises by an individual officer as it was not mandated by the law and should be avoided.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that posting of huge number of officials for monitoring of premises where no production or sales activity was taking place was meaningless and should be avoided.
They said that the exercise of powers conferred under Section 40B of Sales Tax Act 1990 was required to be time-bound and time frame or period must be given but most of such notices lacked any such provisions, which was against the spirit of the law.
They said that the apex court had reportedly mandated the requirement of specifying a time limit for the posting of officers under section 40B of the Act and it should be strictly followed to meet the requirements of the law. They urged that Chairman FBR should take strong measures to ensure that businesses were saved from unnecessary problems and difficulties on the part of FBR officials.