MULTAN: The Supreme Court of Pakistan should constitute a high level Joint Investigation Team (JIT) similar to Panama case for probing mega sales tax fraud of M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. Pakistan’s biggest ever fraud of sales tax revealed by Customs Today against M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd should be investigated appropriately for recovery of robbed amount.
It was stated by former Secretary Multan Tax Bar Association and well-known tax consultant Muhammad Imran Ghazi in his exclusive interview with Customs Today the other day.
He said that every country in the world serves the national economy with the help of legitimate collected taxes from the society in order to provide the right economic and required infrastructure for the nation to develop and prosper. Collection of legitimate taxes always plays vital role in the development of economic growth of nation.
He said that Maersk shipping line operating in Pakistan has been already notorious due to their illegal activities in the country as they are charging exorbitant demurrage and detention charges from importers and exporters in the country. Exporters and importers have already moved the courts and other forums to bring them to justice for violating set principles and rules.
He said M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) was involved in violation of SRO 1220(I)/ 2015 for charging illegal detention and demurrage charges through blackmailing for releasing shipments. Maersk line has collected billions of rupees in terms of taxes from importers in the country but they have not paid their justified taxes to the government of Pakistan.
He said that weak tax enforcement system is causing serious economic challenges in the country because foreign shipping company is openly committing tax evasion and causing huge loss to the national exchequer by evading huge amount of sales tax. Pakistan is one of the under-developed nations whose economy is also relatively weak due to massive corruption and foreign origin notorious shipping company is applying dirty tactics to evade billions of taxes.
If any Pakistani company commits tax evasion of a single penny in Denmark, they will not exempt any taxes because tax evasion is impossible in the developed nation due to their fair tax collection institutions, he said, adding that Pakistani government should conduct forensic audit of taxes paid by M/s Maersk Pakistan from launching date of its operational services to recover evaded amount of sales taxes in billions.
He said Maersk Pakistan is involved in stealing huge revenue through issuing ‘benaami’ bills without sales tax numbers to clients. He appealed Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Asset Recovery Unit of the government to form high level JIT similar to the Panama case for interrogation against Maersk Pakistan for sales tax evasion and recover looted amount.