Business leaders in Pakistan are calling for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to seriously address a wide range of trade-based financial crimes.

Pakistan Ships Agents Association and former vice president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Tariq Haleem, are urging the FBR to establish a joint investigation team (JIT) with a specific focus on such crimes.

Misinvoicing and misdeclaration

In a letter to FBR chairman Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, they are asking the tax authorities to address issues of under- and over-invoicing, misdeclaration of goods and values as well as smuggling.

The letter points out that these crimes are causing massive losses to the national exchequer and giving Pakistan a bad reputation as a trading country.

Cooperation calls

The business leaders want the FBR to work alongside the Federal Investigation Agency and have customs intelligence, border authorities, the interior ministry and other agencies participate in or cooperate with the JIT.

Underlining the importance of the JIT, the business leaders say it should report regularly and directly to the prime minister.