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Revenue Board tells industries production data to be kept confidential

ISLAMABAD (April 30 2003) : Responding to the apprehensions of major industrial units on production data, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has informed 20 leading industrial sectors that the production data would be considered as confidential information exclusively used for statistical purposes.

The CBR on Tuesday issued instructions to all the collectors of sales tax and central excise that the industrial units should be informed about the exercise as required data was obligatory as per General Statistics Act, 1975.

Furthermore, they may be assured that the information collected will be kept confidential and used to compile aggregate statistics.

The tax authorities recently empowered the collectors to collect monthly production data from all the large-scale manufacturing units to be utilised by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS).

On the other hand, industrial units raised apprehensions about the actual utilisation of the production data.

The authorities have informed the tax collectors that ever since the simplification exercise by the CBR on the central excise side of the monthly return (RT) documents, the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) has been contesting that because of vital omissions in 'RT form', they were unable to compile the production data of various commodities for growth projection and analysis of estimated industrial parameters.

The FBS tried to get the same data alternatively from the provincial and federal Industries Ministry, but the data was unsatisfactory keeping in view the FBS standards.

Ultimately, it was decided in an inter-ministerial meeting that necessary amendment in the General Statistical Act, 1975 be made to authorise the CBR chairman to be competent authority for purposes of collection of data regarding production, etc, from various industries in Pakistan under the General Statistics Act.

This was done vide SRO 346 (I)/2003 of April 14, 2003.

For this SRO, the CBR chairman has appointed the collectors of sales tax and central excise or their authorised person as “Statistical Agent” to obtain information prescribed in the format.

The CBR pointed out that there were two annexures with the notification, one comprising requisite information for monthly production data, which has to be filled in by the industrial unit.

The second annexure showed names of large-scale industrial products whose information was required by the FBS.

The collectorate should provide the information of those commodities, which are manufactured in their respective jurisdiction.

At the same time, the collectors should explain the situation, if needed, to units working within their jurisdiction that information required therein is mandatory as per the General Statistics Act, 1975.

However, they may be assured that the information collected will be kept strictly confidential and used for statistical purposes in aggregates only.

The collectors will forward the proformas received from the units to the Directorate of Research and Statistics (DRS), which will compile the information for onward transmission to the FBS.

The data of the previous month should reach the DRS by 15th of every month starting with the month of April 2003.

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