LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has strongly opposed the recent move of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of restoring the powers of the tax officials to freeze the bank accounts for the recovery of taxes.
LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq said that now the tax officials are not legally bound to take prior approval of the Chairman FBR and give 24-hour prior intimation to the CEO/principal officer/owner of companies before freezing the Bank Accounts.
They said that this step is against the spirit of creating a business friendly environment in the country, according to the vision of our honorable Prime Minister.
The LCCI office-bearers said that this step would give undue exorbitant powers to the Tax Officials under Section 140 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 and Section 48 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. It would also result in the undue harassment of business community and discourage new entrepreneurs to come into the tax net
They added previously, the Tax Officials were not allowed to freeze bank accounts without taking permission from the Chairman FBR and intimating the account holder at least 24 hours before.
The LCCI office-bearers said that Pakistan is already facing stiff economic challenges like mounting inflation (9%), stagnation in exports and rise in external debt (in excess of 100 billion dollars). In this situation, it is imperative to encourage the business community so that we are able to enhance the growth rate of the important sectors of our Economy like Industry and Services sector.
They urged the authorities to immediately withdraw the recently issued instructions for restoring the confidence of business community.