Cellcos concerned over Rs 47b tax evasion issue

STAFF REPORT IBD: Perturbed over the allegations of Rs47 billion sales tax evasion over the past five years, the local telecom operators are set to get themselves out of this critical situation by bringing forth the Pakistan Telecommunication Authoritys position that the interconnection charges are expenses and not `income under the Calling Party Pays regime.

The companies have reportedly expressed their concern over what they claimed a propaganda campaign against them with regard to Rs 47 billion tax on interconnection charges.

The phone operators have sought the Prime Ministers intervention in stopping the National Accountability Bureau from holding their media trial and harassment.

“We have decided not only to move relevant quarters to bail us out but also to present `facts to the public,” a representative of a leading telecom company told the media. He said that telephone operators had been awaiting a positive response from the prime minister and were also optimistic that the PTA would stand by them over the issue.

He said that the interconnection charges are not income and tax cannot be imposed on expenditures. Therefore, we do not see the operators will be penalized in this case at end of the day.

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