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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was informed Tuesday that Rs1,856 billion worth of tax cases of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were pending in various courts of law. The PAC has extended its support to the FBR in expediting various court cases worth Rs1,856 billion. Rana Tanveer Hussain chaired the meeting.

The FBR chairman stated that the FBR reforms wing was established for achieving revenue target by ending corruption from the system. An automation and digitalisation system which would help them to unearth concealed wealth and minimise the role of individuals.

The committee examined the FBR's audit report and other matters related to audit of government departments. The PAC chairman informed the committee members that the NAB chairman was not well, and he would be invited to discuss the pending cases of the FBR. The committee was informed that the FBR had released Rs118 billion against sale tax refunds claims in last six months.

An amount of Rs56.6 billion refund claims on income tax was given. He said the payments were also released under non faster refunds. He said refunds claims were entertained after verifications. He said that delay in refunds claims happened because motor registration authority and other departments were not added in the system.

The amount of payable refunds was Rs345 billion. Member Committee Khawaja Asif said the allocation of Rs60 million was made for hiring advocates, while competent fee of a lawyer was very high. The matter should be taken to the parliament for a debate as well as resolved through request.

The chairman committee said that the FBR had Rs4,300 billion revenue target for financial year 2020-2021, whereas, the economy had suffered due to the coronavirus. The committee directed immediate payment of income tax claims of Rs45 billion and a policy should be evolved for payment of the refunds claims.

Ayaz Sadiq said that all income tax commissioners should be issued directives that they should play their role in recoveries of taxes. Attorney General's Office should also advise to help the FBR in expediting the court cases. Khawaja Asif recommended that big tax defaulters should be made public. Tribunals should be reactivated.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020