ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) Karachi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) General (R) Zaheer Ahmad has complained against the misuse of SROs which was creating problems for local industry. He said that rival parties imported cheaper iron and other related products under the umbrella of SROs and inflicts losses on PSM as well as to national kitty.
“SROs not only reduce revenue collection with waiver or removal of excise, import and other duties but also the availability of cheaper iron and steel related products create an atmosphere of in-competitiveness for PSM,” he said adding that the misuse of Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) have been inflicting losses of billions on local industrial production as imported goods under SROs without payment of import duty was creating more problems for local producer.
It is a general perception that Statutory Regulatory Orders are issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to grant favours in matters of taxation to individuals and entities belonging to the elite class and political allies of the incumbent government.
Official sources, privy to FBR, told Customs Today that issuance of SROs by the government was the biggest hurdle in the expansion of tax net as they had frequently been employed to provide exemptions worth billions to politically connected business tycoons while it puts unnecessary burden on taxpayers which amounts to punishing them for honesty.
“In countries with parliamentary form of governments, only parliament have authority to issue SROs and so do in Pakistan, but the tax authorities have been using powers of the Parliament by issuing SROs while the politicians have seldom challenged the violation” sources observed.
Moreover, the SROs were meant to be an instrument for running the day-to-day affairs but, unfortunately, over the years these have assumed the status of a policy in the country.