President Almas urges govt to form a committee to sort-out the issue of raids on traders Lahore: While demanding an immediate stop to raids at business premises and disrespect to the tax paying community, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to constitute a committee having representatives from public and private sectors to sort out the issue. In a statement on Thursday, the LCCI President Almas Hyder said that proposed committee should have representatives of the Chambers, Bar Associations, Market & Industrial Associations and Federal Board Revenue (FBR) as this is the only way to resolve the issue of undue raids at business premises and disrespect to the business community. “We want to pay tax but the method adopted by the tax officials is not good”, the LCCI President said and added that disrespect to the businessmen is not acceptable at any cost as they are backbone of the economy.
He said that it must be eye-opener for the tax officials and policy makers that traders have taken to the streets and started protests against the raids and rude attitude of the staff of tax department who are misusing their discretionary powers badly and conducting raids without keeping in view the affects of these actions on economy. “Government should understand that protests and strikes always hit the economic activities hard therefore the raids should be stopped immediately in the larger interest of the economy”, Almas Hyder added. The LCCI President said that Section 38-B of Sales Tax Act, 1990 is being misused by the officials of tax department. Tax officials are visiting markets and godowns to unjustifiably harass the business people. They not only raise unlawful demands but also carry all the available records with them. “How ones outside the tax net will come into the tax net when existing taxpayers are being disregarded”, the LCCI President questioned.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that teams from tax department should immediately stop visits to the markets, industrial units and other business premises. If there is an urgent need for stock taking and ascertaining the Sales Tax liability of any particular business unit, the FBR officials should take association concerned or the Lahore Chamber on board first.—Press Release