Mafia working in Karachi involved in harassing businessmen, clearing bogus claims : Senate committee told

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ISLAMABAD: The Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Friday was informed by the officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that its Intelligence Wing has unearthed a mafia working in Karachi who were involved in the harassment of the businessmen, engaged in clearing bogus claims in taxes and refunds causing billions of rupees losses to the national exchequer.
The Committee was informed that some officials of the FBR have been arrested who are the members of this mafia, which had been working in Karachi and involved in harassment of the business community and getting money from them and even causing financial losses to the government.
The FBR officials informed the Committee that there were some arrests made by the Intelligence Wing of the FBR in 2013 but the cases of these employees are still pending at various stages and some of them got stay orders from the courts which has been delaying the completion of the inquiries against them.
The Committee directed the FBR officials to complete the inquiry against all these officials and present the report in the next meeting of the Committee which will be last and held in last week of this month.
The meeting of the Committee was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mohsin Aziz and attended by Senator Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari and Senator Saud Majeed. The Committee while expressing displeasure on the performance of the FBR for delaying in the completion of investigations in the cases of corruption, malpractices, misconduct and inefficiency directed the FBR officials to complete the inquiry reports with in three months of all those cases which are more than one year old.
The Sub-Committee expressed displeasure on the delay in the completion of inquiry reports by the FBR against its employees allegedly involved in corruption, malpractices, misconduct and inefficiency cases. The Committee was informed by Member Administration FBR Ms. Tasneem Rehman that efforts are being made to finalise and complete all the inquiries as early as possible. She said as such cases are being initiated under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules of the Government of Pakistan and under these rules, there is no time period for the completion of the inquiry report, therefore, the final reports are delayed. She informed the Committee that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has taken action against in a number of cases and some of the officials have been arrested, therefore, the FBR had to wait for the final decision of NAB in such cases and then it can start departmental inquiry. The Committee was also informed that when the corruption cases are with NAB, they did not share the information with any other department. The Committee was informed that over 200 cases of corruption, misconduct, inefficiency and malpractice against the senior and junior officials of FBR are still pending at various stages and many officials got stay orders from the courts and stopped the process of investigation and inquiries. In these over 200 cases, the Committee was informed that only few employees were terminated from the services, while all others got stay orders from the courts and still with the department as their cases are pending with the courts.
The Committee was informed that the case of an official Basharat Ahmad Qureshi a grade 20 officer of FBR who was involved in the loss of Revenue through sales tax of Rs. 1190 million when he was posted as Commissioner RTO Multan in 2011 and 2012. The Committee was informed that charges of inefficiency and misconduct were proved against him for his failure to monitor sales tax payments from Pak Arab Fertilizers Limited and Fatima Fertilizers Limited in Multan and FBR have to face losses of Rs. 1190 million in sales tax. He got stay orders from Sindh High Court and even the FBR has written to Prime Minister to seek his permission for further action but it is also pending and officer is still working with FBR. The Committee was also informed that out of 200 cases seven are from Grade 20 officers, 11 are from Grade 19 officers, 14 are from Grade 18 officers, two are from grade 17 officers, 13 are from grade 16 officers while about 150 are lower grade employees who are superintendents, deputy superintendents, inspectors and appraisers and these cases were traced in 2012-13.

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