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News Clips 06 January, 2016

[ Massive tax evasion: legal action initiated against 155 ST-registered persons ]
[ Punjab-based textile industry terms 2015 'black year' ]
[ FPCCI elections : PRGMEA hopes UBG to work for betterment ]
Massive tax evasion: legal action initiated against 155 ST-registered persons   [ top ]

Business Recorder, January 06, 2016
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has started legal action against 155 sales tax registered persons including importers, who committed massive sales tax evasion and are involved in serious irregularities in their business activities. Sources told Business Recorder here on Tuesday that the FBR has decided to take action on the report of Asim Majid Khan, Commissioner Inland Revenue and Project Director Computerised Risk Based Evaluation of Sales Tax (CREST), on evasion of sales tax on strength of fake input. 

It is apprehended that if timely action has not been taken against these 155 sales tax registered persons, the FBR will suffer massive revenue loss on this account. 

The report available to Business Recorder revealed names, sales tax registration numbers (STRNs) and addresses of the sales tax evaders against whom action has been launched by the FBR. The report pointed out that 5 sales tax evaders are covered under the jurisdiction of Regional Tax Office (RTO) Gujranwala; 2 units RTO Islamabad; 1 unit RTO, Peshawar; 2 units RTO Rawalpindi; 1 unit RTO Sialkot, 2 units RTO Faisalabad; 47 unit RTO-I Karachi; 24 units RTO-I Lahore; 31 units RTO-II Karachi; 5 units RTO-II Lahore and 35 units falls under the jurisdiction of RTO-III Karachi. 

The CREST domain team is working to identifying potential cases to prioritise processing to yield maximum revenue. In this regard, the team had found certain irregularities in business activities of certain registered persons. This office has un-earth revenue to the tune of Rs 5,121,615,405. It is apprehended that these registered person are likely to cause massive loss of revenue, if not halted at this stage. The list of such cases has already been provided to field formations, it said. 

In view of the above, CREST team has requested FBR to direct the field formation to gear up their efforts for the recovery of government revenue, which inter alia includes legal proceedings as, deemed fit, it added. The details of tax evaders revealed that the units fall under the jurisdiction of Regional Tax Office (RTO) Gujranwala, RTO Islamabad, RTO, Peshawar, RTO Rawalpindi, RTO Sialkot, RTO Faisalabad, RTO-I Karachi, RTO-I Lahore, RTO-II Karachi, RTO-II Lahore and RTO-III Karachi. 

The report disclosed that the sales tax evasion has been committed on the basis of fake importers, fake purchase from null filer/non-filer etc, fake withholding etc, self invoices & fake electricity bill, purchased from null filer, purchased from SJ Traders, fake import, electricity bill, etc. 

Punjab-based textile industry terms 2015 'black year'   [ top ]

Business Recorder, January 05, 2016
The Punjab-based textile industry has described the year 2015 as a "black year" and made it clear to the government that they have lost in it because it is offering too little too late to revive industrial units. The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association did observe a black day in the last quarter of 2015 by setting the Indian yarn on fire outside its own office prompting the government to increase the import duty on raw materials by 10 percent. 

Yet, the Punjab-based industry has suffered following the high costs of business, particularly that of energy being estimated to be around 14 cents per unit against an average regional cost of nine cents per unit. The prime minister recently announced a reduction of three rupees in the industrial tariff as he addressed a business gathering in Karachi. 

The Punjab-based textile industry is still expecting a notification that will called for a Rs 3.63-surcharge in industrial electricity bills to be dropped, but the present announcement has fallen short of making it clear if this reduction of three rupees is in the basic tariff or the surcharges. 

Both the government and the Punjab-based textile industry have been at loggerheads over the past two and half years and they have never been quite comfy with each other either, with the prime minister never visiting the association. It is understood that both sides have apparently kept their knives open against each other. One such a situation transpired in December 2014 when federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar talked for hours on economy when the association leadership criticised his government for borrowing from private banks. On the same occasion it was the minister who then advised them to sell off their dollars since the government would never let it appreciate against the local currency. 

It is understood that close friends, including industrialists, of former Punjab governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar were adamant to give him the credit of the Generalised System of Preferences plus facility from the European Union in the presence of the finance minister. 

The industry circles are of the view that the prime minister was keeping an intentional distance from the Association since he took over in 2013. They said the prime minister has met once over the last two and a half years with the Association leadership to listen to their concerns. "This meeting was held on September 11 last year when the prime minister assured of announcing a relief package within five days. The industry is waiting for a comprehensive relief package even when we have entered to fifth month along with our troubles," said one industrialist. 

Meanwhile, some independent observers have also pointed out that the Association has been vocal against the government in its press interactions from time to time. They said the industry leadership has often presented an angry look against the government, which has been rare in case of business community of the country in past. These circles have feared continuity of estranged relationship between the industry and the federal government in 2016 as well, in case both sides failed to compromise with each other and work together in the larger interest of the industry and economy. 

FPCCI elections : PRGMEA hopes UBG to work for betterment   [ top ]

Daily Times, January 03, 2016
KARACHI: Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq felicitated the United Business Group (UBG) on its success in the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) elections.

Shafiq congratulated the winning candidates and hoped that they would work for the betterment of the business community and take every possible step to promote industrial and trade activities in the country.

Shafiq said energy crises, unfair taxation system, high tax rates, pending refunds of the exporters and other problems were the main factors that were holding back Pakistan from realising its full economic potential.