ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Sunday issued an apology to a senior Pakistani citizen who was mistreated by the country's tax collection body while instructing relevant authorities to take an action against those who dragged the 82-year-old into a litigation process to humiliate him for over a year.
According to the President Office, the senior taxpayer, Abdul Hamid Khan, had to undergo a lot of inconvenience after he demanded a refund of Rs2,333 ($13.21) which was refused by an official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
Khan was subsequently dragged into a litigation process that lasted for over a year.
“Apologizing to the senior citizen Mr. Abdul Hamid Khan, the President said that our heads should hang in shame for the inconvenience caused by FBR to the senior citizen,” the statement said.
"Punitive action must be taken along the entire line of decision-makers in this case and chairman FBR should ensure that those responsible, in particular, and others, in general, go through courses to teach them priorities and courtesies," it quoted the president as saying.
Khan had claimed the refund on his income tax return for last year by submitting requisite documents of advance tax deduction on October 19, 2020.
“The complainant e-filed refund application on 19th October, 2020, followed by representation to FBR Chairman on 24th December, 2020,” the official statement said. “The Unit officer of FBR rejected his refund claim on the grounds that the applicant had failed to furnish the original certificates required for authentication.”
“This must be the most pitiful and shameful use of bureaucratic authority,” noted the president.
He also regretted that the FBR official had wasted everyone's time, including the tax ombudsman and the president himself.
The statement added Alvi “deplored that no one in the long chain of bureaucrats at the FBR deliberated over the issue to take note of the unfairness, pettiness and superfluousness of the matter.”