ISLAMABAD: Early nomination for members of appellate tribunals would help it recover half of Rs456 billion involved in cases pending in various courts, said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman on Monday.
A sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examined Revenue Division (FBR) Custom's Audit Report 2017-18, and expressed its serious concerns over the pending court cases involving billions of rupees, and asked the FBR chairman Muhammad Javed Ghani to pursue the cases vigorously and hire well-known lawyers.
FBR chairman said the secretary Law and Justice had been tasked by the federal government for early appointment for the tribunals. The committee asked the secretary law to expedite the early nomination of members for the Appellate Tribunals set in the FBR, and also directed to appear before the committee on Wednesday.
Committee member Khawaja Asif suggested that the FBR should propose an enhancement in the expenditure of FBR legal wing in the upcoming annual budget to Rs600 million. He remarked that the current allocation of Rs60 million was not enough to hire senior/well-known lawyers to pursue various court cases.
He further said an estimated Rs2,600 billion was the revenue shortfall of the FBR in the last three financial years against the targets, and hiring well-known legal experts, and out of court settlements would help the FBR to achieve its revenue target annually.
The FBR chairman further apprised the committee that on the advice of tax reforms commission, the FBR activated the forum for alternate dispute resolution under the existing legal framework, which is helpful in resolving pending tax disputes through alternate dispute resolution mechanism.
The committee chaired by Noor Alam Khan, was also informed that the process of recoveries in various cases was slow and the FBR required services of 750 employees, and requested the committee to direct the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to expedite the process of hiring.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020