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Telenor terms allegations of tax evasion by customs baseless

Telenor terms allegations of tax evasion by customs baseless

KARACHI: Telenor Pakistan Director Corporate Communications and Responsibility Atifa Asghar, in response to the allegations of tax evasion, said that Telenor Pakistan was a law-abiding and responsible corporate entity, and that it always met its legal and ethical obligations.

“The allegation of tax evasion is misconceived and incorrect,” she told Customs Today. “It is a matter of different interpretations and confusion regarding the alteration in taxes and import duties effective from July 1, 2014,” she said.

She said that 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,” she said.

“It is important to note that Telenor Pakistan is one of the largest taxpayers in Pakistan and has contributed Rs 147 billion in various forms of direct and indirect taxes. In addition, Telenor Pakistan has also won High Taxpayer Award from the Pakistan Customs several times,” she added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Federal Board of Revenue Directorate General of Customs Intelligence and Investigation has started investigations into the telecommunication service provider, Telenor, on mis-declaration in import of telecommunication equipment.

The Customs I&I has also started reviewing goods declaration forms by the company in this regard. “Customs Intelligence initiated investigation on the request of the Karachi Customs into the mis-declaration by the accused company” sources said.

Sources said that it is expected that the telecommunication company mis-declared the goods in its previous consignments too. Telenor imports equipment from abroad upon which a heavy duty is payable.

The FBR has raised a demand of Rs 33.03 million duty against the Telenor Pakistan on import of telecommunication equipment including GU Base Stations, IPASO link radio equipment, arial equipment pol/directional antennas-mounting brackets, GSM equipment, Yuasa power equipment with installation material, outdoor rectifier and battery cabinets on submitting less duty.