The FBR has clarified in a statement issued on Wednesday that the news item is totally baseless and allegations leveled against the Chairman FBR are basically an effort to sabotage fair and open process of licensing in order to give benefit to tax evaders and illicit traders in tobacco industry.
The statement added that the IFL has been issued under section 40C of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 and the Sales Tax Rules, 2006.
The amendment in the Rules was made vide SRO 250(I)/2019 dated 26.02.2019 tilted as "ELECTRONIC MONITORING, TRACKING AND TRACING OF SPECIFIED GOODS AND LICENSING THEREOF" which was issued much before appointment of Syed Shabbar Zaidi as Chairman, FBR who took charge as chairman FBR on 10.05.2019 which is two and half months after the issuance of the Licensing Rules, 2019.
It further clarified that a consultant of having an international experience and credentials was also hired well before the issuance of IFL after following a transparent process to seek guidance and expert advice with a view to make the process fair and fool proof.
The IFL was published in local as well as international newspapers in order to make it more transparent and open for all the solution providers. The IFL was also placed on PPRA website and all PRRA Rules are being followed in letter and spirit so that any irregularity and ambiguity can be avoided.
After the issuance of IFL, more than 20 aspirant companies have obtained bidding/Licensing documents. No company has submitted the bidding/Licensing documents till date as the closing date for submission of documents is 20th September. Hence the question of awarding of license to any company does not arise. Moreover, the Chairman is not part of the License Awarding Committee.
There is no loss of revenue of the Government of Pakistan as reported in the news item. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reserves the right to take legal action against publication of such fabricated and concocted news report, the statement added.