KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was reluctant to refund the Rs7,054.743 million it had deducted from the provincial consolidated fund during 2012, 2015 and 2016. He directed his legal team to prepare a case against FBR and file it in the high court.
This he said on Monday while presiding over a meeting regarding the recovery of unconstitutional and unauthorised deduction by FBR.
Excise and Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that his department had been agitating against the Inland Revenue Department and Income Tax Tribunal over the unilateral, unjustified, unconstitutional and unauthorised deduction by the FBR from the provincial consolidated fund.
Chawla said that a series of meetings were held with Inland Revenue officers in Karachi and Islamabad but no concrete steps were taken to refund the amount of more than Rs7 billion at the source, deducted during 2012-13, 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The CM said that he had taken up the matter in a Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting held in September 2018, but no appropriate decision about a refund of the deducted amount was made. Therefore, he directed his legal team to prepare a case and file it in court. "We will fight this case in the court because FBR and the federal government have no intention of refunding the amount," he said.
Chawla told the CM that they have filed seven appeals. He added that one of them was pending with the FBR deputy director. At this, the CM said that he was ready to appear before the deputy director. "I have no problem to appear at any forum but I am committed to get these funds back because they belong to the people of Sindh and they are meant for Sindh's uplift".
Shah was informed that another appeal was pending in the FBR Inland Revenue Tribunal. The CM directed Chawla to follow the case with full force and inform him of the next hearing where he would ensure his presence.
FBR has deducted RsRs590.4522 million in 2012, Rs861.267 million in 2014, Rs599.401 million in 2015, Rs6.127 billion in 2016 and Rs294.53 million in 2016. The CM directed the finance department to work out the interest on the amount so that interest could also be claimed. He said that he would write a letter to the prime minister against this injustice and would urge him to issue the necessary directives for a refund.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Finance and Excise Secretary Raheem Shaikh, Excise DG Shoaib Siddiqui and others.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2019.