FBR freezes PIA’s 53 bank accounts for not paying duty worth billions
January 26, 2022 04:00 AM
Rubbing salt into PIA’s financial wounds, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has frozen a whole lot of bank accounts belonging to Pakistan International Airlines for not paying federal excise duty being charged on tickets, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.
The Board said the Airlines had not been submitting FED and sales tax returns since December 2020. The PIA has to pay some Rs26 billion on account of taxes, the FBR said.
The FBR further divulged that the Airlines had not paid Rs4.50 billion FED on tickets for two years now and they have taken action after getting a green signal from appeals forum for recovery of the duty amount.
The FBR said they had made the recovery after freezing PIA’s 53 bank accounts. About 495 million rupees have so far recovered and the PIA accounts will remain frozen until Rs4.50 billion dues are not recovered, the Board said.
Reacting to the FBR’s action, the PIA in a statement termed the development an attempt to damage its credibility.
According to a PIA spokesman, the said amount was linked to FED from 2016 to 2020. There was also a federal cabinet’s decision to freeze PIA’s funds from 2016 to 2020 until the reforms process is fully implemented, he said.
He said the FBR move will bring embarrassment to the airlines at the international level. PIA had paid Rs4.7 billion to the FBR in 2021 despite Covid impact on its revenues, he added.
Reporter Ashraf Khan and Usman Javed