KARACHI - Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, commented on notices issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to 240,000 tax evaders, urged the FBR to ensure strict follow-up of these notices as these tax dodgers were responsible for giving severe losses to the national exchequer.

In a statement issued, President KCCI demanded that information about these tax evaders must be publicised or at least be shared with leading chambers of the country including Karachi Chamber, Lahore Chamber, Islamabad Chamber, Quetta Chamber, KPK Chamber and Rawalpindi Chamber so that the progress of such cases could be impartially monitored.

“This step would also help in regaining the confidence of loyal taxpayers”, he added.

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry recalled that although FBR claimed to have identified more than 700,000 tax evaders five years ago and assured to bring them into the tax net but unfortunately, no action was ever taken against those tax evaders who have been living luxurious lives but not contributing a single rupee to the national exchequer.

He was of the view that despite lapse of more than five years, FBR never acted against 700,000 tax evaders who, according to FBR, owned more than one house, have luxurious cars, travel abroad, study in foreign universities, use credit cards and operate bank accounts but they do not even have NTN numbers.

Commenting on recovery measures against chronic defaulters taken by DG Broadening of Tax Base FBR, President KCCI said that although FBR claims to have issued notices to 240,000 tax dodgers but at the same time, it only shares details of action taken in 513 cases.

Out of these 513 cases, bank accounts of 278 cases have been attached, arrest warrants have been issued in 40 cases, vehicles in 117 cases have been attached and impounded and properties have been attached for auction/ sale in 78 cases.

Iftikhar Vohra said, “In such circumstances, the loyal taxpayers are constantly being overburdened and have to suffer badly due to complex tax procedures whereas the tax evaders, who are probably highly influential, continue to enjoy the benefits of staying outside the tax net which is highly unfair.”

“What refrains FBR from acting against such wealthy tax evaders, remains an unanswered question”, he criticised and appealed the government to publish names and photographs of tax dodgers in the press.