Sunday, January 16, 2011

Govt in state of fiscal emergency: FBR

Govt in state of fiscal emergency: FBR 

KARACHI: The government is in a “state of fiscal emergency” that can only be overcome by developing ‘working partnership’ with the business community, says chairman of the FBR.
Addressing members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday, Salman Siddique said the FBR would extend maximum cooperation to the business community to address their complaints about payment and collection of taxes.

He suggested that the KCCI office-bearers should set up a committee to help the FBR resolve issues regarding refund claims of exporters.

Mr Siddique held out the assurance that all the refund claims would be handled expeditiously as compared to the past, adding that no malpractice by any official would be tolerated.
He said the Board’s revenue advisory council would be told to have working relationship with the KCCI and added that FBR’s functions would be restructured in consultation with members of the chamber.
He hinted at formation of “an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to improve relations with taxpayers”.

FBR chief paints gloomy picture of economy 

KARACHI: Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue Salman Sidiqqui has said that the government cannot provide a bailout to the industrial sector as the regime is facing an unannounced economic emergency.
He stated this while addressing a ceremony under the aegis of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Saturday.

Talking to the media on the occasion, the FBR chairman said that the government was trying to curtail loans to control inflation.

The current amount of loans stands at Rs140 billion not 500 billion rupees, he added.

He said in the first phase, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) would be privatised, adding that the economic sector was facing a crisis and the government could not meet its expenditures.
He questioned how it could be possible to provide resources to the business community in these circumstances.

The FBR chairman pointed out that no one would come forward from abroad to provide a bailout package for the restoration of the economy.

"We should resolve our problems and every citizen should be brought into the tax net," he added.

The FBR chairman suggested that a ban had to be imposed on the government from borrowing from the State Bank.

Policymaking is not the responsibility of the FBR but its function is its implementation.

He advised tax defaulters to contact the actual department for the solution of their problems. The FBR is working for the welfare of various departments.

It is not difficult to overcome the issue of economic deficit through local resources, he underlined.

To a question, he said that the economic downfall started after the government borrowed loans from banks.

Salman Sadiqqui urged businessmen not to attach any expectations to the government as it was facing economic problems.

He suggested traders should set up representatives of the business community for the solution of their problems regarding tax.

On this occasion, a KCCI member, Qasim Teli, said that traders were facing several problems about tax, adding that the traders wanted to pay tax but the policy of the government should be clear in this regard.

The government should improve the tax system. He demanded an end to corruption in the FBR.

Referring to various complaints on export refund claims, the FBR chairman said that a committee of the KCCI should be formed by the chamber office-bearers, who could help the board in resolving the claims of exporters.

"I assure you that all the refund claims will be made expeditiously as compared to the past and non official malpractices will be tolerated," he added.

The FBR chief said that the Board's Revenue Advisory Council will be asked to have a working relationship with the KCCI and further gave an assurance to the business community members that functions of the FBR will be restructured after consultation with the members of the chamber.

Earlier, KCCI President Saeed Shafique dwelt at length over the problems of the business community pertaining to taxation.

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