Sat, 21 May 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 17 (ANI): Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Sunday apologised to a senior citizen over the Federal Board of Revenue's (FBR) administrative injustice and directed its chairman to take strict action against officers involved in the matter.

Expressing dismay over the treatment meted out to 82-year-old Abdul Hamid Khan, the president said that "their heads should hang in shame" for the inconvenience caused, reported Geo News.

FBR had refused to refund an ageing taxpayer a paltry sum of Rs 2,333 on frivolous grounds and dragged the citizen into unnecessary litigation spanning over a year.

"Punitive action must be taken along the entire line of decision-makers in this case and the FBR chairman should ensure that those responsible, in particular, and others, in general, go through courses to learn priorities and courtesy," he said.

The president while rejecting FBR's appeal observed that it appeared that unlawful treatment was meted out "with a view to irritate and humiliate" the ageing pensioner, reported Geo News.

Khan had claimed a refund of Rs 2,333 on his income tax return for the year 2020 and submitted requisite documents of advance tax deduction of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited and cell phone company bills on October 19, 2020.

The FBR unit officer rejected his refund claim on January 29, 2021, on the grounds that the applicant had failed to furnish the original certificates required for authentication.

Khan then took up the matter with the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) to seek redressal of his complaint, reported Geo News.

The FTO investigated the matter and ordered FBR to revisit the impugned order and pass a fresh order after providing the complainant with the opportunity for a hearing as per the law.

The ombudsman further ordered the FBR to identify and initiate disciplinary proceedings against the official who passed the impugned order in derogation of the law and procedures and dragged the ageing taxpayer into unnecessary litigation as well as report compliance within 45 days, reported Geo News.

Consequently, the FBR filed a representation with the president against the original order of the FTO. Alvi rejected the representation of the FBR and upheld the FTO's decision.

The president termed the failure of the officer to verify the bills himself as shirking from responsibility and an act of maladministration. (ANI)

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