FBR having the cake and eating it too


Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Dr Shoaib Suddle has said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was collecting Rs one billion additional every month besides 60% decline in container scams since January last year when the FTO dugout NATO supply container scam. He called it mother of all scams and said his office was proud of doing national service by saving billions of rupees of the national exchequer.
He was delivering a keynote address at the seminar organized to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Business Forum of Punjab (BFP) and the FTO. President BFP Ibrahim Qureshi and Advisor FTO Lahore region Haji Ahmed signed the MoU in front of the FTO, BFP top leadership, tax consultants, members BFP, businessmen and media on 18 April 2012, Wednesday afternoon at a local hotel.
Earlier, Chairman BFP Syed Nabeel Hashmi said in his address that transparency and professionalism was the hallmark of BFP and it was an implementing tool of reforms leading to prosperous Pakistan. He expressed the hope that the MoU would to facilitate businessmen at large through the platform of BFP.
President BPF Ibrahim Qureshi briefed the guests about the structural organisation of the BFP, saying it was a very focused and professional forum to give solutions to the problems of business community. He said the district chapters of BFP have collected valuable business data from the respective districts during in last one year that would be shared with policymakers to formulate effective business policies. He expressed the hope that the BFP would be becoming a Pakistan wide organization soon.
The driving force behind the BFP and Chairman The Pakpur Foundation Haroon Kh presented vote of thanks and advised the members to take benefit of mutual cooperation of FTO and the BFP in case they are harassed by the tax collectors under mala fide intentions.
A memento was also presented to the FTO Dr. Shoaib Suddle by the BFP President Ibrahim Qureshi. Ms Ayesha Hamid moderated the event. The FTO Dr Shoaib Suddle expressed his pleasure to witness the signing ceremony congratulate Business Forum of Punjab for wonderful job and thinking about issues common to business community. He said the basic task of the FTO is to facilitate tax payers by diagnose, investigate, redressing and rectifying the tax relating issues. “I am the ombudsman tax payers, and not the tax evaders,” he said, adding: “A sustainable economic growth is only possible through reasonably broadened tax base in a fair way and totally free of extortion.” He said the tax collection was a more critical function, as a country can only be run through taxes and not army and police. He urged the tax collectors to facilitate the taxpayers, as they generate taxes by applying best of their efforts and endeavours. He said the tax to GDP ratio has come down to 8.2 pc last year and is declining every year. The tax to GDP ratio cannot be improved without complimenting and synergizing our efforts like the one the BFP has done with the FTO, he added.