Saturday, September 25, 2021

SC raises key questions in FBR data computerization case

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ISLAMABAD: A bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday raised key questions in a case related to computerization of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) data, ARY News reported.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard a case related to Pakistan Revenue Automation Private Limited (PRAL).

During the proceedings, the chief justice asked as to why the FBR did not design software itself. “Why extremely sensitive data of the FBR handed over to a private company,” the bench further asked. How the FBR benefiting from the PRAL?

The Attorney General argued that the PRAL is not a private entity, it is a public limited company. He informed that the PRAL provides the software to the FBR after its designing and the FBR enters data in it. It is not the job of the company to collect tax data, he further said.

The FBR chairperson informed the court that the people with technical qualifications don’t join the civil service due to lower salaries. “My salary is lesser than the G.M. of the PRAL,” the FBR chief said.

“We know the game FBR officers play with online passwords,” the chief justice said. “Billions of rupees tax refunds released without any basis,” the chief judge further said. “There are several cases of illegal tax refunds pending in the court,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed said.

“What is benefit of the online system when it used for cheating,” the bench questioned.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, observed that forming such companies is only aimed at getting fat pays, why don’t the government perform the job, which it hands over to the companies.

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