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NAB, FIA must take action against Maersk, QICT to recover billions of rupees ST: Advocate Ijaz Ahmed

NAB, FIA must take action against Maersk, QICT to recover billions of rupees ST: Advocate Ijaz Ahmed

FAISALABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) must take action against M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) for recovering alleged billions of rupees evaded in wake of sales taxes to protect the national economy.

It was stated by Faisalabad Tax Bar Association Member Choudhary Ijaz Ahmed advocate while talking to Customs Today after he came to know shocking evidence regarding mega sales tax evasion by shipping companies in connivance with Sindh Revenue Board.

He said it is shameful that illegal activities are carried out in supervision of high-ups of PQA and QICT through misuse of their entrusted powers. Alleged officials are also involved in the illegal clearances of contraband items through smuggling in the country which harms the economy in several ways. Illegal clearance activities at Port Qasim and QICT undermine the local industry, discourages legal imports and reduces revenues collected from duties by the Federal Government.

He said that government is imposing heavy taxes on every segment of society to bring national economy on right track but we have given free hand to tax collection department to practice corruption in tax collection. We need to bring reforms in tax system as government is facing financial crisis in the country due to current account deficit and tax department faces huge shortfall in tax collection due to widespread corrupt practices of Sindh Revenue Board.

He said Pakistan is facing huge challenges and countering enormous revenue leakages through smuggling and illegal collection of demurrage and detention charges by holding genuine import shipments at the time of clearance. According to certain reports, volume of illegal demurrage and detention charges amount is three times the size of regular economy. It shows the alarming rate of smuggling and the impact on the nation economy.

He told that our tax system needs serious modifications and reforms for the revival of economic system and this is ideal time to bring positive change through strict accountability of corrupt officials of SRB and recover looted amount of taxes from them.

He demanded from Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Ports and Shipping, National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency to take serious action against Maersk shipping line and QICT for evading billions of sales taxes in connivance with Sindh Revenue Board.