PESHAWAR (Staff Report): In exercise of powers conferred under Section 132(6) of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, the Division Bench-I of Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue, Islamabad directed the Chief Commissioner Inland Revenue, Regional Tax Office, Peshawar to refund within 15 days of the order a sum of Rs.1,247,000,000/- (Rupees One Billion Two Hundred Forty Seven Million Only) which they recovered fraudulently and illegally from the Banks of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority (KPHA), failing which the law shall take its course.

In ordering the aforesaid refund, the Learned Judges of the Tribunal reminded the revenue authorities to acknowledge the fact that we live in a democratic set-up and the taxpayers deserve to be respected for their contribution to the national development. Whereas, on the other hand Public Servants are definitely expected to discharge their functions with responsibility but not unreasonably.

It was added that the officers are supposed to work diligently but not harassingly and thus, it was absolutely necessary for the Department of Revenue to gain public trust and confidence by acting judiciously which if they ignore, as had done in the instant case, the officers such as Chief Commissioner RTO, Peshawar, Commissioner Corporate Zone, Additional Commissioner Withholding Zone and their subordinate officials evidently demonstrated a bad-name for the organization, i.e., Federal Board of Revenue.

The Managing Director, KPHA thanked the honorable Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue, Islamabad for such a bold decision and directions to the revenue authorities and also thanked in particular to the entity’s tax advisors, Shahid Ahmad & Co., Chartered Accountants for their professional support in filing, arguing and contesting appeals of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority. MD, being administrative head of the organization also apprised facts relevant to the case to the Secretary, C&W Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and urged upon the revenue authorities to refund the illegally recovered amounts together with markup accrued thereon as allowed under the law as the aforesaid unlawful act on the part of the RTO, Peshawar has literally resulted in financial collapsing of the province’s one and the only Highways Development Organization.

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