Zaidi and Tola Trade Barbs Over Condition of CNIC on Sales

Former FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and top Karachi-based tax expert Ashfaq Tola disputed the condition of Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) on sales to unregistered customers or purchases on Sunday.

The matter came to light after ProPakistani revealed that the government is considering dropping the requirement for unregistered buyers to provide their CNIC in the Budget 2022-23.

Shabbar Zaidi tweeted on Sunday, “claims indicate the incoming government intends to do away with the condition of CNIC on purchases beyond Rs. 50,000.” This is a heinous act against the country. I proposed it, but political expediency delayed the execution. This is the only method to chronicle the economy and end the use of corrupt money.”

“Retailers and wholesalers that oppose CNIC prescription are criminals.” I want the buyer’s identification, not the seller’s. The Rs 50,000 limit could be raised to Rs 500,000. I tell the people that it will be completed and that I will be remembered. Only thieves conceal their identities,” Zaidi explained in another tweet.

Ashfaq Tola replied. “Sir, as you may recall, I was Chairman of the Anomaly Committee in 2018. In writing, all trade associations agreed to implement CNIC in 7 months, beginning in July at 30% and increasing by 10% each month; you and Hammad Azhar refused. You were adamant about enforcement starting in August 2018.”

 

Zaidi stated, “It is not a matter of time.” It was 2019, not 2018. These people will not comply, and we know why. But I can tell you that it will be completed. It will be wrong if this government repeals the law,” he continued.

The condition of CNIC was included in Finance Act 2019 to extend the tax base since anyone involved in furthering taxable activity must be recorded through such measures. To reduce compliance costs, the threshold was raised from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000.

 

The FBR has already broadened the scope of input tax disallowance due to the seller failing to provide the buyer’s CNIC on the invoice as required by Section 23 of the Sales Tax Act, 1990.

The requirement of a CNIC from unregistered buyers was made effective on February 1, 2020, but the FBR’s field formations were not effectively enforced in the past.

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