PESHAWAR: Businessmen of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have strongly opposed the jurisdiction order of the Federal Board of Revenue to shift cases of 128 units to large tax unit (LTU) Islamabad, demanding an immediate withdrawal. They warned to resist the decision and move to court against it if the decision is not withdrawn.
Speaking at a joint news conference along with industrialists and traders here at the chamber house on Thursday, the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Engineer Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz informed that FBR had issued a jurisdiction order (JO), on August 05, vide order# 1 (48) jurisdiction/2014-132520-R, as made effective from 10th August 2020, under which the cases of 128 units of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been shifted to LTU Islamabad.
He termed the FBR’s decision was completely illogical, unfair, and indiscriminate in all fairness and negates the FBR’s own policies and regulations, so he completely rejected it. “We will resist and protest against the decision if it is not withdrawn immediately”, he warned.
Instead of facilitating the business community, the SCCI chief said the government and its subordinate institutions its policies and decisions are further multiplying the miseries of the business community. He noticed Pakistan’s position improved in the ease of doing business at 108 from 126 but the government through its ‘anti-business’ decisions, want to bring back the country to its old position in EoDB. Besides, larger manufacturing units, he informed small scale industries, were also included in the jurisdiction order, which was completely unjust and unfair.
SCCI Vice president, Abdul Jalil Jan, former FPCCI president Ghazaffar Bilour, former president, Zahidullah Shinwari, Riaz Arshad, member of the chamber executive committee Muhammad Naeem Butt, Aftab Iqbal, Ihsanullah, Sherbaz Bilour, Malik Imran Ishaq, Bajuar Chamber president Afzal Khan, SCCI tax advisor, Shahid Ahmad, Saddar Gul, Faiz Rasool, Ishtiaq Muhammad, and others were present on the occasion. “We didn’t take into confidence before issuance of a jurisdiction order (JO) by FBR”, the businessmen complained, calling it an organized conspiracy against the KP industries and businesses.
FBR’s unilateral decision would add to their miseries and some businesses would be closed completely because they were not financially sound to proceed cases in LTU Islamabad, the industrialists said. They stated that Regional Tax Office Peshawar had played a pivotal role in facilitating the business community, despite that the FBR had established LTU in Islamabad and shifted 128 units there, which was incomprehensible.
The businessmen suggested that FBR should establish LTU in Peshawar like, Karachi and Lahore, by appointing a separate commissioner there. They asked the FBR to take back its jurisdiction order forthwith and make decisions by making proper consultation with the business community.
Zahidullah Shinwari told the media that the shifting of 128 cases to LTU Islamabad was completely unlawful and unrightfully as no reason was mentioned in the FBR JO regarding it while no criteria, ToRs, and procedure were cleared as well.
After the issuance of FBR JO, he said the Regional Tax Office Peshawar is reluctant to process cases while no record was available with LTU Islamabad to process these cases. He informed the KP refunds, which were withheld from 2008 and 2010, are being released to the business community, and also stopped after the FBR JO.
Mr. Shinwari said the cost of doing business (CoDB) would be further increased after such anti-business policies so he asked the FBR to immediately withdraw its JO because it was openly violating the constitution relevant article 10-A. He proposed the establishment of LTU in Peshawar like established in Lahore and Karachi.
Riaz Arshad said the FBR Jurisdiction Order was tantamount to mistrust on the Regional Tax Office Peshawar. He said the decision was an organized conspiracy against the KP business community and businesses, which would have brought further negative impacts on growth. He said the taxpayers are not thieves.
He said the BRT and other development projects were constructed on taxpayer money so the government should facilitate them instead of creating more problems for them, he asked. He added that the KP businesses were ruined under an organised conspiracy, which was completely unfair and unjust with the business community, so we would strongly protest against the government’s all anti-business decisions.