Increased awareness about FTO would encourage a greater number of taxpayers to seek resolution of their complaints against tax depts

ISLAMABAD   -   President Dr Arif Alvi has asked the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) to raise awareness among the taxpayers about its services in providing relief against the high-handedness and injustices of tax authorities. He said that increased awareness about FTO would encourage a greater number of taxpayers to seek resolution of their grievances and complaints against tax departments.

The President expressed these views while addressing an awareness seminar regarding the services of the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO). FTO, Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, Federal Insurance Ombudsman, Dr Muhammad Khawar Jameel, Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment, Ms Kashmala Tariq, advisors to FTO, members of the business community, and senior officials of the government attended the seminar.

The President advised the Mohtasib to launch awareness campaigns regularly across the country in the form of workshops, seminars, and personal visits to the relevant trade, business and investment institutions to highlight the importance of paying just and lawful taxes and to approach the Federal Tax Ombudsman for the redressal their complaints. He also urged FTO to adopt the latest technology to address a greater number of complaints, besides bringing efficiency in the working of the Mohtasib.

He said that people needed to be educated about the importance of paying taxes and the role of taxes in national development to persuade people to voluntarily pay taxes. Addressing the occasion, the President said that important and impactful decisions of FTO, wherein relief was provided to the complainants, should be highlighted through the media to create awareness about the services of FTO.

The President said that FTO was playing an important role in discouraging corrupt practices and arbitrary use of authority by the tax officials besides reducing unnecessary delays caused by the tax machinery. He further stated that due to FTO’s efforts the number of complaints filed with the FTO against the maladministration of tax authorities had increased which was proof of the rising awareness about FTO among the people. The President appreciated that FTO was providing prompt and free-of-cost justice to taxpayers within 60 days without involving the lengthy litigation process.

Federal Tax Ombudsman, Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, while addressing the occasion, highlighted that FTO during the year 2021 had resolved 2867 cases and had succeeded in reducing the average time taken to resolve complaints from 68 days to 57 days. He said that during the first six months of the year 2022, over 2500 complaints had been received by the FTO which had been mostly resolved. He stated that FTO was providing prompt and cost-free redressal of taxpayers’ grievances at their doorsteps and urged the participants to further highlight the services being provided by the Mohtasib.

Meanwhile President Dr Arif Alvi in a meeting with Pakistani mountaineers has stressed the need to highlight the achievements of young Pakistani mountaineers through the media to project their potential and build a soft image of the country. Talking to Pakistani mountaineers, Shehroze Kashif, Sirbaz Khan, and Abdul Joshi, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, on Monday, the President deeply appreciated the climbers and mountaineers of Pakistan for their meritorious achievements in the most challenging and adventurous game of mountaineering which is cherished around the world. He advised the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to patronize and support the young climbers in building their careers and for the generation of a regular income stream for them.