More action on the tax front. The government is determined to adopt a no nonsense approach to the big tax dodgers. It's about time the billions, rightly due to the exchequer, started flowing in and be spent on the bare necessities of the nation.

Army moves in to collect taxes

Army teams have launched a general sales tax (GST) registration drive in Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and adjoining areas of these Punjab towns to bring more than 150,000 power looms into tax net. The sales tax collectorates of the regions are carrying out the registration drive to ensure maximum netting of this sub-sector of the textile, which helps evade Rs 10 billion plus GST every year.

The relevant authorities revealed to The News that more than 38,000 of these power looms, mostly in Faisalabad, had already been brought to the list, during the past two months. In December 2000, there were only 10,000 power looms in the net, they added. The tax authorities had sought the Army help about three months ago for the registration drive after numerous efforts for netting this sub-sector of textile failed due to the poor reach of tax officials to power looms, spread far and deep into the periphery of these major towns.

THe Central Board of Revenue (CBR) officials said though one quarter of the power looms operating in the country have already been registered, the textile sector could not be forced to comply with the GST requirements of documentation without bringing into net at least 90 per cent of these looms.

The CBR estimates that the textile sector evades GST worth Rs 5-7 billion, every year, only for being non-documented, as its widespread loom sub-sector, which provides the intermediaries to the mega textile units, remains unregistered. The tax invoices of transactions of intermediaries from looms to the larger textile units are required to document the actual transactions of the latter and extracting GST thereon, which would not be possible without looms being brought into the net, they said.

The Army teams' involvement in this drive has accelerated the registration drive in loom areas, which is being expected to be of great help in registering about 90 per cent of this sub-sector by end of the current financial year, said the CBR officials.

[This message has been edited by Malik73 (edited July 29, 2001).]