LAHORE - The traders have called for curbing the role of FBR as well as the ECC, which have protected few influential industrialists, feudal lords and favourite companies through SROs, as they have been benefiting tax exemption of over Rs640 billion every year.

They strongly criticized taking major policy decisions in terms of taxes and duties through SROs and stated that taxation was the prerogative of the Parliament.

“Levying taxes and allowing tax exemptions are prerogative of the parliament and it must withdraw its role instead of allowing FBR, ECC or Cabinet,” observed APAT general secretary Naeem Mir.

Addressing a meeting he said “had there been no tax exemptions, the country would not have been required to surrender to tough conditions for seeking loans to finance development projects”. He said that only the parliament should have right not only to formulate policies regarding taxes and amendments in import or export duties but also to issue SROs after in depth debate.

He criticized the authorities for empowering FBR through an Act of 1969 to issue SROs, urging the government that those powers should be withdrawn, as these were being misused.

The participants of the meeting, while demanding to amend the section 216 of the Act 2001, observed that parliament, judges, generals as well as bureaucracy should also be bounded to issue their annual tax details, as they are role model for public. They urged the prime minister as well as the opposition leader to apologies to the masses for irresponsible attitude of parliamentarians regarding hiding tax details.