MULTAN: Mega tax evasion by M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd showed inefficiency of tax department as this huge sales tax evasion will put burden on the business community. However, shipping industry is playing the pivotal role in strengthening national economy as all importers and exporters avail facility of shipping companies for the clearance of their legal shipments after payment of due taxes.
These views were expressed by All Pakistan Bed Sheets & Hoisery Manufacturing Association Chairman (APBHMA) Syed Mohammad Asim Shah while talking to Customs Today. He said that alleged sales tax evasion is a criminal act of Maersk Pakistan and tax machinery should take stern action against them as per law.
Pakistan is facing huge financial crisis due to money laundering, tax evasion along with unanticipated downturn or recession, price fluctuations of commodities, current account deficits and uncertainty on foreign sector, he added.
He said that government needs to adopt zero-tolerance policy against corruption in the country to curb all types of tax evasions in all sectors; otherwise, “we will continue taking economic bailout packages from developed nations for rescuing our economy”. He said that billions of sales tax evasions after collecting legitimate taxes from clients is fraudulent act by Maersk as they looted the country’s assets.
Syed Mohammad Asim Shah said that business community has a lot of hopes from newly-elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government that they will take serious and positive actions against tax evaders like M/s Maersk Pakistan which evaded billions during last six years in terms of sales taxes from the country.
It was also negligence from the tax department that they did not conduct a forensic audit of M/s Maersk Pakistan for the last six years and they allegedly ignored their practice of tax fraud which caused huge loss to the economy.
“It is unfortunate for us that we have failed to cultivate our economy on right track in the last 70 years due to excessive corruption and unnecessary interventions in the concerned departments. But the new government has introduced necessary reforms in the tax departments for the prosperity and economic stability of the country,” he added.
“We support efforts of the current government towards building a corruption-free Pakistan where everyone will get their legal rights and surrender them under the rule of law,” he said, adding that the government must recover alleged billions of rupees from Maersk Pakistan in wake of sales tax which were collected from importers and exporters by charging illegal demurrage and detention charges.
He said that tax evasion of Maersk Pakistan and other companies badly affected national economy as they looted billions of rupees from genuine importers and exporters on clearance of legal shipments.
He stated that Customs Today exposed mega sales tax scam of M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and now its responsibility of government to recover evaded sales tax from the company. Corruption of M/s Maersk Pakistan should be brought to justice through serious actions and looted money from business community should be deposited in the national exchequer to win the confidence of exporters and importers, he concluded.