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Senate body terms "Tax amnesty Bill 2012" another NRO for the country.

ISLAMABAD -- A Parliamentary Panel on Finance has expressed its severe concern over the proposed tax laws amendment Bill 2012 by terming it another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for the country.

The committee recommended that the proposed tax bill should be presented in form of scheme as Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will get blanket power by passing it in shape of money bill. The committee also recommended that proposed amnesty scheme should be passed for some specific period. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs met here at the Parliament house with Senator Nasreen Jalil in the chair for consideration of "The Tax Laws (amendment) Bill 2012 as referred by the house.

During the meeting, Senators termed it a controversial bill as no body from the parliament was taken into confidence over it and expressed their server reservation over it. They said that there is no scope of this bill that protects tax evaders. Chairperson Ms Nasreen Jalil said that the Proposed Tax amnesty Bill is second National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and violation of the article 25 of the constitution therefore it should be removed.

Sentor Ishaq Dar said that its government's fault to introduce it as money bill and rather to take edge of article of 254 of the constitution they should accept their fault. He said that in any circumstances any single department cannot be given blanket powers. He said that draft of this bill has been prepared without sufficient preparation and if it brought it would be challenged in the court and once again court will slap the parliament.

He suggested the committee to recommend to the National Assembly to reject it. Ishaq Dar said that this proposed bill would also disturb the balance between direct and indirect taxes.

Senator Hamayun Mandokhel said that if Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) wants to increase its tax net then it should adopt other measures. He supported the point of Ishaq Dar and said that blanket powers should not be given to the FBR.

Chairman FBR Ali Arshad Hakeem informed the committee that FBR identified 2.9 million tax evaders while 2.2 million are non NTN holders and 0.7 are those who NTN holders but non filers/ evaders. He told during 2011 0.27 million people paid tax. He said that from Jan 25 2013 electronic tax system would be implemented in the country however electronic system has liquidity problems. Hakeem said that prime purpose of this bill is to bring more people in the tax net and increase the revenue for national exchequer.

State Minister for Finance and revenue Saleem H Mandviwalla said that they do not want to dilute the powers of the Parliament and input from the legislators would be added into it.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 29, 2012
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