The government is likely to introduce a tough provision for interrogation of the accused tax dodgers for settlement of tax-related disputes.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will soon urge the finance ministry to incorporate the new provision into the relevant act, official sources said.
"A move is underway to make a new provision for the settlement of tax-related disputes, making room for the authorities to take the accused persons into remand," said an official source.
The NBR will be proposing such an amendment to the article 196B of the country's existing tax appeals settlement law of 1969 shortly.
Inclusion of such a new provision aims to make the settlement process of tax-related appeals more effective and fair.
"We are proposing such new provision for the sake of fair judgment in the settlement of tax-related appeals," according to the NBR source.
It, however, said the existing law does not permit the authority to take the accused tax evaders into remand.
The absence of such provision often creates problems for both hearing and judgment processes, the source said, adding: "Sometimes, fair judgment cannot be ensured because of its absence."
Although the NBR earlier made an attempt earlier to include the provision in the act concerned, it could not be materialised due to some procedural problems.
Meanwhile, the government's current move to ensure early disposals of tax-related disputes by the Taxes Appellate Tribunal (TAT) is facing a snag due to its existing administrative problems and insufficient manpower.
Despite extra efforts made by the authorities, no tangible result has yet been visible in the early settlement of such disputes, official sources said.
Over 1,000 appeals now await disposal, creating a huge pressure on the tribunal.
The TAT officials identified administrative problem as one of the major roadblocks to settlement process of tax-related appeals.
Terming the number of officials handling tax appeal cases as inadequate, they said sometimes, the hearings of some specific appeals cannot be possible mainly due to lack of full benches, sources observed.
"Usually, the tribunal registers about 400 to 500 appeals a month for hearing," a senior TAT official said, adding the tribunal disposed of around 7,000 appeals last year.
Taking the increased number of pending appeals into consideration, the authority has doubled the number of cases to 80 for disposal by each of the members in a month, affecting the quality of judgement processes.
As per the existing rules, the tribunal has to settle the appeals within six months from the date of their registrations, failure of which results in their automatic disposal.