Islamabad, Giving one month time to clear audit paras of last seven years related to FBR, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Monday showed resentment over newly appointed chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for appearing before the committee without preparation.
It met here with Nadeem Afzal Gondal in the chair to review the audit paras of Federal board of Revenue (FBR), where the newly appointed chairman FBR Ali Arshad Hakeem led his team. It was observed that Ali Arshad Hakeem and other officials from FBR failed to respond various questions regarding the audit paras and objection in connection with FBR. Other members of PAC were present in the meeting.
Audit officials told the Public Accounts Committee that from last one year no departmental accounts committee meeting was conducted in the FBR, to which Chairman FBR said that they were newly appointed and need little time to response to the quarries of the audit as well as committee.
PAC chairman gave ten day time frame to the FBR team in order to review everything while Chairman FBR raised an objection, saying ten day time was insufficient, as Eid was knocking the door steps.
Chairman PAC following the request by the Chairman FBR, Ali Arshad Hakeem extended the time period given to the FBR to one month, directing the committee to come prepared for the audit paras and objections of last seven years also presenting a weekly progress report before the committee. He warned Chairman FBR to remain ready to face music if there was no development on the matter.
Meanwhile the Auditor General of Pakistan informed the members of the body that despite multiple assurances given by the former Chairmen, the FBR was not giving access to Audit officials to its records.
To this the FBR officials were of the view that in accordance with the directives by the Peshawar High Court the FBR was bound to not to give any one with the access to its tax database or record of the tax payers.
Members of the body expressed their serious reservations on the issue, to which the Chairman PAC gave directions saying that no institution was above the law and was free from conducting audit as they all run through the public money for the public service.
Nadeem Afzal Gondal directed the FBR officials to have a sitting with the audit officials to redress this issue within ten days and to present a detailed report before the PAC.
The Chairman FBR Ali Arshad Hakeem told the body that FBR was reviewing its flaws and the system would be improved within six months, adding that People prefer to do business unregistered and unofficially just to bypass the audit.
FBR Chairman told the committee that National Identity Card Number (NICN) was not being used as National Tax Number (NTN), however a new system was being evolved to co-relate both and to enhance the performance.
He was of the view that doing business in Pakistan was not an easy task following which the FBR was facilitating the business class at its priority, adding “more revenue would be generated, more the volume of the business raises in the country.” He also said that repeated issuance of various orders of also fears the tax payers.
On, Pakistan Revenue Automation Ltd.( PRAL), FBR, Chairman PAC again issued the direction to FBR officials to conduct the audit of the FBR company Pakistan Revenue Automation Ltd.( PRAL).