The new Finance Bill 2022 has tightened the noose around tax non-filers as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is now authorized to deprive non-filers of basic services, including terminating their gas and electricity connections.
The Senate Standing Committee on Finance supported the proposal that gives the FBR the power to cut off the gas and electricity connections of non-filers. It also allows the FBR to block the mobile subscriber identity modules (SIMs) of non-filers.
Furthermore, the members of the committee objected to the proposal for duty-free bulletproof vehicles. They also questioned the proposal to import bulletproof vehicles duty-free to protect Chinese citizens in Pakistan.
The members expressed concerns that other departments, with no such need, would take advantage of and misuse the duty-free bulletproof vehicles.
The committee was also displeased with the absence of the Minister for Finance, Miftah Ismail, from the meeting.
The Chairman of the Committee, Saleem Mandviwalla, said that the FBR has a standard procedure for those who do not file their tax returns after the deadline and that the latter’s first approach would not be to cut off the basic services.
The members unanimously recommended removing the proposal for an income tax on the assumed rent of a property from the Finance Bill 2022, calling it ‘unjustified.’