CBR considering withdrawing old litigation cases: chairman
ISLAMABAD: The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) is considering withdrawing old litigation cases from courts, to take up out of court settlement of matters.
“CBR was reviewing the cases to be withdrawn from the tax appellate tribunals of lower as well as higher courts”, chairman CBR Abdullah Yusuf said while addressing businessmen on Saturday.
He said, tax disputes can be settled through interaction among taxpayers and tax collectors, as the course of litigation does not favour anyone but makes the matter to linger on. The chairman sought suggestions of businessmen for amicable solution of CBR-taxpayers issues saying, “we want to settle the pending disputes in all areas of taxation and you should come up with proposals in this respect.”
He said owing to the pro-active government policy measures, the country has been put on the path of sustained economic growth, adding we are expecting to achieve over 7 percent growth in the current fiscal as against the last year’s 6.4 percent growth.
Mr Yusuf, however, added that momentum of this growth could be maintained through increased local as well as foreign investments and the local private sector has the key role to play in this regard.
He said, with the government having a role of facilitator, ensuring conducive environment, making policy interventions and offering incentives, the private sector is to encourage foreign investment through enhanced local investments. He said, the government was committed to carry out tax reforms to make CBR taxpayers-friendly as well as to broaden the tax base to realize sustained growth in revenue.
The chairman CBR said it was unfortunate that out of 150 million population, only 1.1 million people submitted tax returns during the last fiscal year.
He said in the sales tax regime there are only 88,000 registered taxpayers, adding, there is a need to increase this number as sales tax regime has a lot of potential to grow. He said, an amount of Rs 52 billion was paid in rebate and refunds in sales tax in 2003-04, including Rs 37 billion only in textile sector, adding, this amount will grow this year. He said, we are reviewing the audit system, as there was a need to re-engineer the tax audit system to make it more transparent and error-free.
He said, with the support of World Bank, $ 150 million were being made available for major reforms in the tax system including infrastructure, human resource development, training, capacity building, data maintenance through computerization etc.