Cellcos involved in Rs 47b tax evasion cant join 3G auction

STAFF REPORT IBD: Senate Sub-Committee on Ministry of Information Technology has directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) not to allow telecom companies to participate in the upcoming 3G spectrum auction that are allegedly involved in evading Rs 47 billion taxes.

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These directives were issued after the former Director General Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU) Islamabad and existing Member Inland Revenue Service Ijaz Hussain Shah admitted that he was verbally pressurized for waiving the telecom companies Rs 47 billion taxes on inter-connections revenues.

Presently, all the five telecom companies alleged to have involved in tax evasion are identified as National Telecom Corporation, Ufone, Telenor, Pakistan Mobile Communication (Mobilink) and Warid.

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During the meeting, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Anusha Rehman, further asked the telecom authority to also make available the required record and invoices of telecom companies to know the facts regarding the tax dispute.

Member Training FBR Shahid Hussain Asad, told the committee that waiver of taxes was drafted but it was never issued in the official gazette. He said that telecom companies had deposited Rs. 6.7 billion for the proposed waiver of taxes but the notification was never issued and hence tax-exemption was never made official.

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Ijaz further revealed the committee that a letter for the tax exemption was drafted, however, it was never dispatched to the companies. He said that he had forwarded this letter to the FBR for necessary action.

But, he alleged that he was pressurized on behalf of the former FBR chairman to comment in favour of allowing tax-waiver to telecom companies.

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