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Karachi Customs sends Telenor’s alleged tax evasion case to FBR

Karachi Customs sends Telenor’s alleged tax evasion case to FBR

KARACHI: The Directorate General of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation (I&I) Karachi has forwarded the case of Telenor Pakistan to FBR Headquarters in Islamabad. Telenor Pakistan was allegedly found involved in tax evasion of around Rs 30 million in clearances of telecommunication equipment through mis-declaration.

The sources in the directorate informed Customs Today that the authorities in regional office forwarded the case of Telenor Pakistan to the FBR Headquarters for further legal proceedings.

Customs Deputy Director Mudassar Tirmizi confirmed that the Directorate General of Customs I&I Karachi, after thoroughly detecting mis-declaration in nine consignments, forwarded the case to FBR Islamabad last week.

He further informed that the authorities of FBR have asked the officers of the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence & Investigation for scrutinising the import data of the company and send it to FBR Headquarters.

It is pertinent to mention here that a demand of Rs 33.03 million duty has been raised against the Telenor Pakistan on import of telecommunication equipments including GU Base Stations, IPASO Link Radio equipment, Arial equipments pol/directional antennas-mounting brackets, GSM equipments, Yuasa power equipment with installation material, outdoor rectifier and battery cabinets on submitting less duty.

Sources also expect that the evaded money may increase as the FBR has asked the Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Lahore to scrutinize the import data, if any of Telenor Pakistan in this regard.

On the other hand, Atifa Asghar, Director Corporate Communications and Responsibility, Telenor Pakistan clarified to Customs Today, “Telenor Pakistan is a law abiding, responsible corporate entity and always meets its legal and ethical obligations. The allegation of tax evasion in this report is not correct and misconceived. It was a simple matter of different interpretation and confusion regarding the alteration in taxes and import duties on import of equipment as per the latest fiscal budget effective from 1 July 2014.  The equipment was imported under specific HS Codes and was declared accordingly.  The issue was sorted out amicably with the Customs authorities and differential payments have been made as per the new import regulations”.

“It is important to note that Telenor Pakistan is one of the largest taxpayers in Pakistan and has contributed Rs147 billion in various forms of direct and indirect taxes. In addition Telenor Pakistan has also won High Taxpayer Award from Pakistan Customs several times,” she added.