ISLAMABAD - Chairman Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has said that giving powers to the FBR officials to attach/freeze bank accounts of business entities, while cases are pending in appeals, would create an environment of mutual mistrust among the business fraternity and the commercial banks. 

Addressing a large gathering of PIAF Executive Committee meeting held at a local hotel here on Friday, Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that misuse of the Section 38-B and 40-B have created unrest and panic among the businessmen and the issues must be settled through table talk. He urged the government officials to desist from such practices in future that are bound to put reverse gear to all government efforts aimed at economic turnaround. 

Chairman PIAF urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop misuse of Section 38B & 40-B of the Sales Tax Act 1990 which is creating atmosphere of harassment. He said that FBR should stop tax officials from creating an atmosphere of harassment.A number of PIAF members have complained that the officials enter the business premises without prior notices or any intimation, he added. He said that the PIAF, since its very inception, is striving for the promotion of trade and industry but the recent issuance of notices to industrial units is a calculated move to thwart these efforts. He welcomed all new members of PIAF and requested them to lead from the front under the guidance of the leadership and play their part to raise the voice of business community in the govt corridors, Irfan Sheikh said that attaching/freezing of bank accounts of business entities would also bring additional hardship for the businessmen who were already battling for survival in the presence of energy crisis and high input cost of doing business. 

He urged the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to immediately stop the FBR from this practice that is pushing the tax payers to the wall besides denting the reputation of a business-friendly government. 

The chairman PIAF said that attachment of the bank accounts should be the last option but the RTOs/LTUs are wasting no time in taking punitive action to meet the revenue targets. He said that the FBR should focus on controlling under-invoicing and curbing the menace of smuggling besides expanding tax net but it is playing arm-twisting by instituting cases for recovery of outstanding dues and attaching bank accounts. 

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has said that sales tax act relates to 38 b & 40 b must be surrendered by the FBR & government for the sake of business community