Budget Proposals 2017/2018: Taxpayers should not be arrested without trial

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been urged provisions of Sales Tax Act, 1990 related to ‘power to arrest’ should not be invoked without going trial of a taxpayer.
In its budget proposals for 2017/2017, the FPCCI said that in the recent past unusual exercise of powers to arrest has been witnessed irrespective of the nature of allegations, past history of the taxpayers and industrial infrastructure set up by them.
“A person having investment in shape of industry cannot fly over night to avoid trial,” FPCCI said.
Any abuse of this most harsh provision of the law resulted in total defamation of the sales tax law and FBR’s administration. Such harsh provision of the law is one of the reasons for narrow sales tax regime during last 20 years.
Persons having large manufacturing setup, public or private limited firms should not be allowed to arrest without prior trial.
The FPCCI said that proposed change will help in curtailment of discretionary powers of tax officials and removal of harassment to taxpayers.

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