ISLAMABAD: With the promulgation of Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2019, the federal government has met another condition the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put forward in its action plan for Pakistan.
FATF, an intergovernmental organisation meant to combat money laundering and terror financing, placed Pakistan on its grey list last year and asked it to implement its action plan which also called for more strict punishments for people involved in money laundering, terror financing and smuggling.
Under the ordinance, the government will form Directorate General of Law and Prosecution.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) – the central tax collection body – will now issue a formal notification for the establishment of the directorate. The notification has been drafted and will be issued after the finalisation and approval of the Law Division.
Sources in the FBR said these measures were taken in light of the decisions made at a previous meeting of the Anti-Smuggling Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to this ordinance, some amendments have also been made in sections 6, 7, 139, 156, 164, 169 and 185A of the tax laws, under which an appellant tribunal will be established.
This tribunal will be named as a Customs Appellate Tribunal which will exercise the powers and perform the duties assigned to it under this law.
The appellate tribunal will consist of a chairman and other judicial and technical members. These members will be deployed in accordance with the rules set by the prime minister.
The Tax Ordinance XLIX of the Sales Tax Act 1990 – the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 – has also been amended while some amendments have also been made in the Federal Excise Act 2005.
The sources said the FBR has also decided to set up crossing point task forces at the national, provincial and divisional levels to prevent smuggling. Motorcycles, weapons, bulletproof jackets and dogs will be provided to this force as part of border management initiative (BMI).
According to the sources, the crossing point task forces will be set up at the national, provincial and divisional levels for preventing smuggling and a special committee has been set up under officials of the interior ministry to complete this task.
The committee will include members from the FBR, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Narcotics Control, Ministry of National Food Security, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Law, Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Defence, provincial chief secretaries and chief secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan.
This committee has been tasked to prepare a plan to ensure establishment of crossing point task forces at national, provincial and divisional levels in the country within three to six months.