Senate Standing Committee on Finance has shown displeasure over the treatment of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) towards the business community and the chairman of the committee disclosed that the FBR has issued notices of tax demands of Rs 1.5 trillion during last one and a half months.
While reviewing Finance Bill 2021, Chairman of the Committee Senator Talha Mehmood noted with serious concern over the exaggerated tax demands raised against the business community. If the tax liability of a taxpayer is Rs. 5 crores, the tax official made exaggerated tax demand of Rs. 50 crore. Through this method of raising tax demands, the FBR has sought tax over Rs. 1.5 trillion from the taxpayers by increasing the tax demands as compared to the low actual tax liability, Talha added.
“We will call FBR on the issuance of notices after budget”, the Chairman of the Finance Committee added.
The committee also opposed an increase in taxes on edible oil and ghee and stated that an increase would fuel inflation in the country to make the life of the people more difficult.
Members of the committee stated that the prices of commodities have already started increasing even before the approval of the budget from the parliament and the 20 kg floor is expected to be increased by Rs. 97. She said that all the matters including the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be placed before the parliament.
Senate Standing Committee on Finance also recommended raise in the salaries of government employees from 10 to 20 percent during the next fiscal year.
The Senate panel also recommended to the government to raise FED plus Rs. 25 per pack on tier-1 cigarettes as it will generate additional Rs. 13 billion while on tier-2 the FED plus Rs. 15 per pack should be increased to generate additional Rs. 50 billion.
Senator Sherry Rehman stated that there is a parallel mini-budget running along with the current review of the Finance Bill 2021 at the Parliament House. It is a parallel budget going on in the form of inflation, the price increase of daily items, gas cess, and levy on petroleum products. When we are debating on the Finance Bill, why a parallel budget is running in the country. There is no transparency in the process of budget finalization as the actual budget is taking place outside the Parliament House.