ISLAMABAD - Succumbing to the pressure of business community, the federal government on Friday suspended the implementation of the SRO-351 of 2014, as it assigned powers to the officers of Director General (Intelligence & Investigation) parallel to the functions of Chief Commissioners/Commissioners Inland Revenue of FBR.

A business delegation, comprising of traders from Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi, met with Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar. The business delegation expressed their serious concerns over the issuance of SRO-351 of 2014 and demanded of the government to immediately suspend it. Therefore, the Finance Minister has suspended the implementation of the SRO-351 of 2014 and formed a committee comprising representatives of traders associations, chambers of commerce and industry and FBR Chairman to review the fairness of the SRO. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) through SRO.351 has assigned powers to the officers of Director General (Intelligence & Investigation) parallel to the functions of Chief Commissioners and Commissioners Inland Revenue. Under the SRO 351, all the powers of Chief Commissioners were given to the Director General Intelligence & Investigation and he can appoint anyone to raid, or check any documents, bank accounts and other documents, which create an element of harassment among the business community. However, the business community said this SRO would create undue harassment in the business community and could give rise to more corruption.

Having serious reservation on aforesaid SRO, the representatives of Lahore, Khyber Pakhtukhwa, Haripur, Islamabad, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Jhelum, Chakwal, Sargodha Chambers on Thursday gathered at Rawalpindi and gave government 10 days deadline to withdraw the said SRO. Otherwise, they said, business community has the right to opt for any level of agitation. Therefore, the government has suspended the SRO.351 of 2014.

Meanwhile, according to press statement issued here, the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar gave a complete outlook of the state of economy to the delegation of business community. He informed traders that Pakistan is out of the danger of default now. He said that the success of Euro Bond and Auction of Spectrum have also boosted the international confidence in economic policies of the government.

At the outset the Finance Minister suspended the implementation of the SRO-351 of 2014 and formed a committee comprising representatives of traders associations, chambers of commerce and industry and FBR Chairman to review the fairness of the SRO. The said SRO came to the notice of Finance Minister last evening which was issued without his approval.

 He also informed the delegation that their all genuine concerns will be considered in order to put Pakistan on path to progress and development.The representatives of the chambers and traders appreciated the reform agenda of the government.

 They appreciated the suspension of discriminatory SRO, which is highly unfair as it planted the same official of FBR as investigator and arbiter in taxation matters. The traders reposed their confidence in the overall direction of the economy set by the Finance Minister.

MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Provincial Ministers, Government of Punjab, Chairman FBR and senior officials of the Finance Ministry were present in the meeting.