LAHORE 16-June-2021: Progressive Group of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has asked the government to withdraw the powers (to arrest and prosecute) given to the income tax officers under Section 203 (A) and powers to customs authorities regarding invoice & packing list and increased penalties.
These powers will create harassment among the business community and traders. History is evident that discretionary powers are always misused by the elements with vested interests to feather their nests.
Progressive Group’s President Khalid Usman, Vice President Muhammad Arshad Chaudhry, Secretary Muhammad Ejaz Tanveer in a joint statement said that introduction of such laws in the budget 2021-22 would only ruin the peaceful environment of business. They said it is astonishing that arrests can be made even at the onset of any enquiry.
They said that overall direction of the budget is good but introduction of new laws such as heavy fines on missing of any document while filing Goods Declaration (GD) for release of any imported shipment from Customs authorities is very disturbing and equal to discouraging the trade activities. They said a new clause has been added that if an importer fails to complete the paperwork (invoice and packing list) for redemption of his shipment, he will be fined from Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000, while in some other cases typing The fine also includes a fine of Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000 and confiscation of WEBOC login and confiscation of property for one year on recurrence of the mistake, which is gross injustice and cruelty.
They said this will open new vistas of corruption for corrupt elements and they can harass the importers by deliberately missing any paper themselves. They warned of protest if these clauses are not withdrawn.
Progressive Group also urged the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and the FPCCI to raise these points at appropriate forum for early redressal.