NAB Can No Longer Probe Active FBR & Govt Officials Involved in Tax Policy-Making

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cannot investigate the government officials, working in different departments, including the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), on the allegations of giving any wrong advice, report, or opinion during the course of their official duties.

Under the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2021, the powers of NAB to investigate the taxation matters have been taken away, as the same would be investigated by the competent departments, viz. FBR and provincial revenue boards/authorities, provincial excise and taxation departments and local authorities, etc.

The NAB has been restrained from taking action against the public office holders giving any advice, report, or opinion during the course of their official duty. Sources explained that if a tax official gave any kind of advice, report, or opinion giving tax benefit or exemption during the course of their official duties, NAB could not investigate the tax office on the charges of a wrong opinion, etc.

The federal government has withdrawn powers and jurisdiction of NAB to investigate persons/transactions causing revenue loss on account of imports and taxation matters.

The provisions of National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2021 shall not be applicable to the following persons or transactions:

  1. All matters pertaining to Federal, Provincial or Local taxation, other levies or imposts, including refunds, or loss of exchequer pertaining to taxation.
  2. Decisions of Federal or Provincial Cabinet, their Committees or Sub-Committees, ECC of the Cabinet, Council of Common Interests (CCI), National Economic Council (NEC), National Finance Commission (NFC), Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), or decisions of the boards of anybody, body corporate, corporations, authority or financial institutions established by or under the constitution or law and entrusted with policymaking and collective decision making.
  3. Any person or entity who, or transaction in relation thereto, which are not directly or indirectly connected with the holder of a public office.
  4. Procedural lapses in any public or governmental work, project or scheme, unless it is shown that a holder of public office or any other person has been conferred or has received any monetary or another material benefit from that particular public or governmental work, whether directly or indirectly on account of such procedural lapses, which the said recipient was otherwise not entitled to receive.
  5. Advice, report, or opinion rendered or given by a public office holder or any other person in the course of his duty, unless there is sufficient evidence to show that the holder of public office or any other person received or gained any monetary or another material benefit, from that advice, report or opinion.

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