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Govt should attach bank accounts of Maersk to recover evaded sales tax

Govt should attach bank accounts of Maersk to recover evaded sales tax

MULTAN: Sindh Revenue Board should attach bank accounts of M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd to recover evaded sales tax amount in billions and suspend their further operational services till the clearance of outstanding amount.

It was stated by Member of Multan Chamber of Commerce and President Multan Anjuman Tajiran Sheikh Muhammad Javed Akhtar in an exclusive talk with Customs today on other day.

It is failure of tax machinery that some shipping companies like M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd are not paying their real taxes to government intentionally and involved in sales tax evasion of billions. He said that national economy is already facing serious crisis due to tax frauds committed by Maersk and “we are requesting international donor agencies and friends to bailout our economy and on the other side foreign shipping company is heavily looting national exchequer by evading billions of sales taxes on their operational services without any hurdle”.

Pakistan’s biggest-ever sales tax fraud amount in billions exposed by Customs Today should be properly probed for the recovery of robbed amount to support national economy and concerned departments must take stern action against alleged tax evader M/s Maersk Line and its subsidiary to reinstate confidence on government tax enforcement system.

He stated that corruption has adverse effects on economic development of under developed countries like Pakistan through its negative impact on the volume and quality of public investment and it puts destructive impact on the efficiency of government services due to financial crisis. “We need to review our tax system and laws enforced for the collection of taxes where influential get exemption and also evaded huge amount of taxes.”

On the other hand, collection of bribe from genuine importers and exporters is a common practice from shipping companies for the clearance of their genuine shipments and shipping companies blackmailed everyone by charging exorbitant detention and demurrage charges ignoring written agreements with clients before delivery of shipments.

Due to blackmailing of shipping companies like Maersk Pakistan, importers and exporters pay additional charges in terms of hidden charges and said companies are not paying their due taxes to government, he said, adding that business community of South Punjab has pointed out their concerns several times over the corruption and negative behaviour but no action was taken from port authorities against them.

He said that payments of legitimate taxes are prime responsibility of every patriotic citizen in the country because these taxes will be served on national development and used for the well-being of country. He suggested that it is also an opportunity for government to streamline their loopholes in tax system by probing all facts in the tax evasion of M/s Maersk Pakistan shipping company. He stressed that if government finds them guilty, it must impose ban on the operational services of M/s Maersk Line Company in Pakistan to set example and the new government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf must bring legal reforms in the laws to avoid any mega tax evasion incident in future.

He demanded the government and concerned departments to take strict action against M/s Maersk Pakistan on pilfering billions of sales taxes and attach their bank accounts immediately for the recovery of evaded tax amount.