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Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Pakistan Deaths
15,872
11824hr
Pakistan Cases
739,818
539524hr
Sindh
270,310
Punjab
258,441
Balochistan
20,580
Islamabad
68,066
KPK
102,290

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to conduct surprise inspection of bank branches to ensure payment of taxes and duties particularly mobile levy through Over-the-Counter (OTC). As per the SBP directives banks are required to enable their OTC channel for collection of taxes and duties especially the levy on mobile devices. The branches have also been asked to prominently display on their respective notice boards that taxes and duties are being accepted in the branch under the 1Link's OTC facility.
Further, banks were also required to ensure that the branch staff has adequate understanding of the mechanism for collection of taxes and duties under the said facility.
However, despite SBP's frequent and clear instructions, the complaints regarding non-acceptance of taxes particularly the mobile levy through banks' OTC Channel are piling up unabatedly.
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and General Public reported numerous instances whereby commercial banks are not accepting over the counter payments of Customs Duty and other taxes including Mobile levy against Payment Slip ID (PSID) generated by the WeBoc system.
The increasing large numbers of complaints show that the branches are still not fully aware of the instructions to collect the taxes and duties through 1Link's integrated/ enabled OTC facility.
According to a circular, SBP has viewed this matter seriously and decided to take strict against banks to ensure the compliance of payment of taxes and duties particularly mobile levy through Over-the-Counter.
Therefore, it has been decided that SBP would conduct surprise inspection of bank branches across the country, to assess the level of dissemination of information, awareness at branches and compliance of instructions issued by SBP from time to time.
According to SBP, any violation of above instructions by the branches if detected during surprise inspections i.e. the branches are found not accepting the taxes and duties from the clients approaching them with PSIDs for payment of the taxes and duties would attract strict punitive action including levy of monetary penalty.
The branches / Regional Offices have been directed that they must be advised to branches again to ensure meticulous compliance of the instructions and facilitate the taxpayers in payment of taxes and duties.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019