Massive irregularities to the tune of Rs 187 billion in accounts of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were disclosed in a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee. The meeting of the committee was held here on Tuesday in the Parliament House under its acting Chairman Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang. The Public Accounts Committee reviewed the audit objections of the FBR''s Rs 169 billion and expressed displeasure over stark contradictions in statistics presented by the audit as well as the FBR officials.
The committee directed both the audit officials and FBR officials to review the statistics and present them again for scrutiny. It reviewed the audit objections for the financial year 2013-14. Audit officials informed the PAC that irregularities of worth Rs 187 billion were unearthed in the FBR accounts during the audit while a recovery of Rs 16 billion was made after this was pointed out.
The committee was also informed that around 29 different cases of Inland Revenue were pending adjudication in courts. The field formation offices in Karachi and Lahore failed to make recovery of Rs 42 billion under the head of sales tax. The member FBR informed the committee members that the recovery of sales tax is a difficult task as recovery of only Rs 5 billion has been made so far in this regard.
Audit officials informed the committee members that 514 withholding agents in Karachi and Lahore did not deposit Rs 24 billion in taxes in the national exchequer. The FBR has made recovery of Rs 4 billion only in Karachi and Lahore. The committee members expressed displeasure over ''contradictions'' in statistics of the FBR and Audit officials in the sales tax and directed the former to review all the statistics and present them again in the committee.
The member FBR, however, expressed his inability to explain the legal and technical jargons in Urdu. Member FBR Dr Irshad admitted during the meeting that they are facing difficulties in meeting the target of the tax collection and they have dismissed 8 tax commissioners from their jobs over poor performance. During the meeting of the committee, the chair asked the FBR officials to explain the members in Urdu as they cannot understand English. Ashiq Hussain Gopang also said the Supreme Court has already passed a verdict that all official work should be done in national language Urdu. Member of the committee Shaikh Rohail Asghar expressed displeasure over non-serious attitude of the committee members, saying that nobody seems to take the agenda seriously.