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September 21, 2017

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Sindh government decides to close its NBP account

KARACHI: Following direct deductions made by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) from the Sindh Excise and Taxation Department’s government account, the Sindh government has decided to close its National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) account and to open a new account in the Sindh Bank.

For this reason, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the finance department to obtain an approval letter from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in order to transfer the account to the Sindh Bank.

The Sindh chief minister, in his address during the joint meeting of provincial Excise and Taxation Department, and Sindh Revenue Board, said: “Sindh has already been deprived of the NFC Award. Now, the process of direct deductions has also begun. This is not acceptable at all. If unconstitutional steps like this will not stop, we will take help from courts.”

The meeting was attended by Sindh Minister for Excise and Taxation Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Principal Secretary to Sindh Chief Minister Sohail Rajput and many other officials. During the meeting, the direct deductions from Sindh government’s NBP account by the FBR were discussed.

Mukesh Kumar, in his briefing, said that the FBR had directly deducted Rs6 billion from the Sindh government’s account, which was unconstitutional. He urged that the amount should be returned to the Sindh government.

On this note, the Sindh chief minister assured the provincial Excise and Taxation Department that he would soon meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to discuss this issue. “If the amount was not returned, then we will also take help from courts.”

While instructing the provincial Excise and Taxation Department to close its NBP account, Murad Ali Shah directed the finance department to obtain an approval letter from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in order to transfer the account to the Sindh Bank.

Minister Mukesh Chawla directed the secretary Excise and Taxation Department to lodge a first investigation report against the KPT NBP branch manager and get him arrested. Chawla also questioned, “How can a manager deduct Sindh government’s money from a government account?”

Following this statement, the Sindh chief minister told the minister that this was the money of the people of Sindh – to be used for their development. “I need the money for Sindh citizens. I do not know how you will get it. It is your problem. We will not allow anyone to further loot the citizens of Sindh. We are even deprived of the NFC Award and now these deductions are totally unacceptable.”

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