NA panel expresses concerns over Benami Act’s execution
FBR chairman says out of 500 cases identified, 55 references launched
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Thursday expressed its concerns over the process of execution of Benami Act by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) at ground level.
The committee noted that Anti-Money Laundering Act's rules and regulations needed to be reviewed for its effective implementation.
The 61st meeting of the National Assembly standing committee was held under the chairmanship of MNA Faizullah at the Parliament House.
FBR Chairman Asim Ahmad briefed the committee about the action taken by the FBR on the implementation of Benami Act.
He said that 500 cases were identified, of which, 55 references had been launched.
Ahmad assured the committee that the FBR always put taxpayer facilitation as its top-most priority. “Robust internal control mechanism is in place to ensure transparency,” he said.
The FBR chairman said that the policy of non-interactive system-based disposal of business was followed – all kinds of notices were issued electronically bearing bar code, therefore, all possible measures had been put in place to curb the incidents of harassment.
The committee unanimously directed the FBR to launch awareness campaign for the public about the rules of AML and Benami Act.
The committee discussed the issue regarding missing of non-duty paid auctioned vehicles.
Read FBR issues draft rules for new export scheme
The member customs informed the committee that subject news item had been published distorting the facts without seeking any input/feedback from the concerned department which showed complete lack of journalistic ethics on the part of reporting. He explained the facts and background of the matter.
After detailed discussion, the committee recommended that all provincial secretaries of the excise and taxation departments might be called in the next meeting of the committee.
The committee discussed the matter pertaining to levy of regulatory duty (RD) on stationary items (led pencil).
The member customs said that the pencil falling under PCT heading 6909.1000 attracted customs duty at 20%, sales tax 17%, additional customs duty 7% and withholding tax 5.5%.
During the budget exercise of 2021-22, various proposals from local manufacturers of pencil were received for imposition of RDS on pencils in order to promote import substation and protection of local industry.
The manufacturers requested to impose RD at 10% on import of pencils, pens and other stationary items to save domestic industry.
According to them, stationary sectors were providing employment to work 20,000 skilled workers using precision advance engineering equipment and there are five manufacturing units in Pakistan, of which two have been closed, one unit is operating partially and two units are in operation.
However, during the subsequent meeting of the Tariff Policy Board, the rate of RD was enhanced from 10% to 20%.
The committee noted that leavy of RD on any item should be considered in light of the requirements of local level.
The committee recommended that local manufacturers might be invited in the next meeting for final directions to the FBR in that regard.
The committee discussed the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2020, clause by clause, however, could not complete its reading, due to short of time and decided that further discussion will be carried in the next meeting.
The meeting was attended by MNAs Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Faheem Khan, Ali Pervaiz, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Dr Nafisa Shah, Amjad Ali Khan and Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gillani and minister for finance and revenue besides the senior officers.