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SRB keeps ‘criminal silence’ over huge ST evasion by QICT, Maersk: Advocate Abdul Basit

SRB keeps ‘criminal silence’ over huge ST evasion by QICT, Maersk: Advocate Abdul Basit

PESHAWAR: Sindh Revenue Board’s criminal silence over sale tax evasion by M/s Maersk Pakistan Private Limited inflicted at least Rs 20170 billion loss on the national exchequer.

Sale tax evasion by M/s Maersk shipping line in connivance with Qasim International Containers Terminal (QICT) operator and some officials of Sindh Revenue Board caused serious loss to the national exchequer.

Advocate at Peshawar High Court Abdul Basit in a recent talk with Customs Today said that statutory regulatory order (SRO) 116, which allows DG I&I to conduct investigation into sales tax evasion has also recorded zero progress here. This mega scam of sale tax evasion by M/s Maersk Pakistan could have been avoided on timely action taken by the Sindh Revenue Board.

According to details, Sindh Revenue Board said it will recover evaded sales tax from the company which provided worth billions of rupees services to local clients during last 6 years. But SRB adopted delaying tactics due to which the case is still pending and audit report of the said company is not yet made public.

Peshawar based lawyer at Peshawar High Court further said that sales tax evasion by M/S Maersk Pakistan not only caused financial loss to exchequer but also discouraged the genuine businesses. The sale tax evasion is multiple sanctions crime as it’s not only fraud done with State but also with the community for violating the rules of business.

Fraud worth hundreds of millions has been done by Maersk shipping line and DP World and QICT along few officials of SRB through malpractices. Shipping company agent Maersk Pakistan private limited is reportedly providing shipping and other services in Pakistan to various importers and exporters. They are liable to pay sale tax at rate of 13% as per SRB notification 3-4/20/2017 but due to bonafide intentions to gain personal financial gains the commissioner SRB kept mum over the issue for years.