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S
Sabah
February 21, 2020

FBR data automation: SC questions data handover to private co

National

S
Sabah
February 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Hearing a case related to the Pakistan Revenue Automation (Pvt) Limited (PRAL), Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed Thursday asked as to why the FBR did not design its software and handed an extremely sensitive data over to a private company.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed, heard the case.

The chief justice further asked as to how the FBR benefited from the PRAL.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan argued that PRAL was not a private entity but a public limited company.

He informed the court that the PRAL designed the software and handed it over to the FBR which fed the data to the system. “This is not the company’s job to collect tax data,” he further said.

Acting FBR Chairperson Nausheen Amjad informed the court that people with technical qualifications don’t join the civil service due to low salaries. “My salary is less than the GM of PRAL,” said the FBR chief.

The CJP asked if the FBR’s tax recovery had increased adding that the court knew the game the FBR officers played with online passwords.

Billions of rupees’ worth of tax refunds are released without any basis, the chief judge further said.

“There are several cases of illegal tax refunds pending with the court,” he added.

What is benefit of the online system when it used for cheating he asked.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah observed that forming such companies was only aimed at getting fat salaries and asked as to why the government handed its job over to the companies.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the persons having access to the FBR data in the company must be identified to the court and the court must also be told if the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules were violated during the signing of contract between the FBR and the private company. The court adjourned the hearing for one month.