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PRA being armed with ‘electronic’ powers

PRA being armed with ‘electronic’ powers

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has sought approval of the provincial assembly for the use of “monitoring or tracking by electronic or other means” of registered persons or services to enhance its revenue, budget documents show.

The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) is being armed with the unique “electronic” powers. The statement of objects and reasons of the budget presented by the new government on Oct 16 in the Punjab Assembly says the amendments to the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Act cover providing direct statutory backing to an existing rules relating to electronic monitoring of taxable services and enforcement actions to preclude litigation.

The proposed changes also enhance time of retention of record and recovery of short paid tax from five to eight years. Additionally, the PRA is being given the authority to seal the business premises, found violating the law. A new Section, 59B, has been added to the act, which says the PRA may determine any registered person or class of registered persons or any of the services or class of services in respect of which monitoring or tracking of provision of service or services may be enforced through electronic or other means.

The PRA may devise and enforce an electronic system for monitoring and capturing the transactions recorded or the invoices issued by a registered person or a class of registered persons or a service or services or class of services, and for transferring the electronic information so obtained to its computer system at such times as it deems fit. The PRA commissioner may order video vigilance of the economic activity to monitor provision of taxable services, including counting of heads of visiting customers, occupancy of sitting space and regularity of issuance of invoices. However, the PRA has been asked to take measures for the security protection and processing of personal data of such persons. From such date as may be specified by the PRA, the persons providing or rendering taxable services will compulsorily use such electronic means, modes or systems, as may be arranged by it for issuance of tax invoice.