President Arif Alvi has rejected the instant representation of the Federal Board of Revenue against the recommendations of Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) regarding illegal gold trade.
President Arif Alvi has confirmed the recommendation of Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will initiate inquiry against all the officers, departments and importers/exporters involved in misuse of imports-cum-exports’ facility regarding gold, jewelry and other precious metals resulting in massive loss of revenue to the national exchequer.
Arif Alvi has also endorsed the recommendation of Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) that the FBR will direct the chief collectors (North), (Central), and (enforcement) South to initiate departmental enquiry to ascertain the officers/officials and take disciplinary action against those found involved in illegal/inadmissible imports/exports.
In its order, the President of Pakistan ruled that it has been observed that by taking up the matter in suo motu jurisdiction, the FTO did not commit any wrong; rather the step is laudable, suggestive of reforms and improvements of the system and workability.
It is meant to curb the menace of tax evasion and wrongdoings. The tax/revenue collection functionaries of the state should take the necessary steps to implement such recommendations wholeheartedly to improve its functioning and revenue collection.”
Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, on own motion (OM), had exercised his jurisdiction for investigation of alleged systemic mal-administration.
The suo moto jurisdiction was taken after a media report alleged misuse of the import-cum-export facility of gold, jewelry, and other precious metals at various customs stations. The reports said that some jewelry exporters failed to remit foreign exchange and Customs Stations Department did not take cognizance in the matter due to jurisdictional issues.
The FBR did implement an institutional mechanism to stop the abuse of the scheme regulated through concessional SROs issued by the Ministry of Commerce. The FTO finding reveals that gold worth billions of rupees was either not exported against imported gold or was exported against fake form-E.
Consequently, the importers-cum-exporters hoodwinked the department with impunity especially in cases where concession available under entrustment/elf-Consignment Scheme was misused.