ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, on Thursday, said the Indian hackers had attacked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)’s website and similar kind of Indian attack also took place in 2019.
The finance minister informed the Senate Standing Committee on Finance that the attack on the FBR website came from the neighbouring country, (India). The same kind of attack took place in 2019 by the Indian hackers.
He said such kinds of attacks would continue from our neighbouring country and we need a permanent solution. “Our neighbour is expert in doing such kinds of cyber-attacks,” he said.
“The government has given punishment to those who deserved it,” Tarin stated, while referring to the changes within the FBR.
He said that the FBR has hired international experts for having a permanent solution to this issue. There were no experts and professionals in the FBR, as well as, the Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) to use technology and upgrade the IT systems. The FBR and the PRAL needs up-gradation of the systems.
Sharing details of the FBR’s website hacking, Tarin said that the level one of the FBR website was hacked, but the hackers were unable to reach the database. If the hackers had reached the FBR’s data, it could be hacked. By engaging international experts, the FBR has placed firewalls to prevent unauthorised access to the FBR’s systems.
There should not be any shortage of funds for upgradation of the systems. I have asked the FBR to seek funds from the Ministry of Finance for this purpose. We have to protect the data at any cost, the finance minister said. Tarin assured the committee that the frivolous notices issued by the FBR to the business community would be withdrawn.
The finance minister said that the FBR will be able to integrate 100,000 retailers with the point of sale (POS) system. The FBR will integrate another 100,000 to 150,000 retailers next year. It will ensure to issue a standard receipt to be issued by the retailers to their customers. The government would use artificial intelligence to achieve the objective of the of broadening the tax base, he said.
The FBR and the NADRA has data of 15 million un-registered persons. The data has 85 to 90 percent accuracy and it would be processed through artificial intelligence tools. The persons liable to be registered would be issued messages and letters to get them registered.
Mostly people would respond to the notices. In case of non-compliance, third-party audit would be conducted without any harassment. If they would continue to refuse to face third-party audit, then the action would be taken as per law, Tarin added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021
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