Senate body reviews finance bill, FBR proposals

ISLAMABAD: Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs on Monday reviewed the Finance Bill 2019 as well as the clauses proposed by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for changes in Customs Act 1969 and Sales Tax Act 1990.

The meeting was chaired by committee chairman Senator Farooq Hamid Naek at the Parliament House.

The committee expressed reservations on the absence of the interior ministry officials who were asked to brief the members and present a comparative report on issues pertaining to customs.

The chairman directed the finance ministry officials to ensure participation during discussions on the finance bill. “The input of senators must be included in the finance bill,” he added.

The committee gave recommendations on the immoveable property as well as on the proposed amendments in the clauses of the finance bill.

The committee said the term immovable property should be defined and it should be made clear who decides prices of the land.

The FBR chairman proposed steps against under and over invoicing and said it should be declared a punishable offence and financial crime.

The committee asked the officials to focus more on the development of remote areas.

The senators also proposed that customs should give clearance for perishable food items within a month and any delays should be punished with a fine of Rs100,000.

The committee directed that the government should appoint Customs court judges in consultation with the chief justice.

State Minister for Revenue Hammad Azhar assured the committee that all the proposals would be implemented in letter and spirit.

Senators Mohsin Aziz, Dilawar Khan, Sherry Rehman, Muhammad Talha Mahmood and representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue and Ministry of Commerce attended the meeting.

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