FBR’s request to gain federal govt powers over Benami Transactions Act 2017 rejected

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) request to hand over authority to minister-in charge of finance for matters of execution in relation to Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 2017 has been rejected by the cabinet panel.

This ceases practice of handing powers of parliament and executive over to individuals, reported Express Tribune. FBR had requested powers of the federal government via this act.

Earlier this year, the parliament had given go-ahead to Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act 2017 and it remains unenforced due to non-existence of rules, which has raised questions marks over the attitude of FBR.

Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Member Inland Revenue Policy of FBR on Friday told Senate Standing Committee on Finance the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of the Legislative Cases (CCLC) noted federation powers couldn’t be assigned to any individual/authority.

Mr. Iqbal said FBR suggested to federal cabinet to assign its powers to the tax regulator under Benami rules and the draft regulations had been put submitted to them before they forwarded it to CCLC for examining.

He highlighted CCLC rejection of handing over power to the tax authorities in this regard was done in regard of apex court’s decision last year which said federal government constituted the cabinet, prime minister and federal ministers as collective entity.

FBR had sought these powers to have complete freedom in the appointment of adjudicating authorities and constitution of appellate benches to enact the Benami law.

Member policy of the tax regulator said new position about CCLC rejection had been communicated to Prime Minister in his capacity as finance minister. He shared the PM had issued directives to FBR to change the draft rules appropriately and summary be forwarded to federal cabinet for approval.