Powers to Arrest & Prosecute: FPCCI Rejects Section 203A of Federal Budget 2021-22

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Pakistan FM addressing NA session in IslamabadMian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, has slammed the Section 203A of the Federal Budget 2021-22; which gives powers to arrest and prosecute any person for concealment of income to Assistant Commissioners of Inland Revenue Service – merely on the basis of an accusation or doubt.

Mian Naaser Hyatt Maggo said that the income tax is a civil liability and could not be treated as a criminal liability; and this has always remained a civil matter historically. Section 203A opens doors to harassment of business, industry, and trade community.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said that Section 203A will add to the already existing harassment of businessmen by tax officials through issuance of several thousand notices; of which Mr. Shaukat Tarin, Federal Finance Minister, has taken notice and his timely intervention has resulted in withdrawal of big number of notices issued to the businessmen.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said that businessmen must be respected for generating taxes and employment for the country. The business should be conducted in harmony; instead of conflicts and contradictions created by the tax officials – resulting from strengthening of their discretionary powers.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said that the Section 192A (Prosecution for Concealment of Income) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, already covers the subject sufficiently. There is no need of Section 203A and FPCCI demands it should be omitted and taken off the table in the final budget documents.

FPCCI is looking forward to resolve this issue by withdrawal of the Section 203A on immediate basis.

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