KARACHI: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) expressed “shock and dismay at the action of the FBR Large Tax Payer Unit (LTU) Islamabad yesterday in sealing the premises of the Pakistan Mobile Telecommunication Limited (PMCL), widely known across the country as Jazz, within hours after serving a notice for payment of an alleged tax demand” in a statement released on Thursday.
The statement quoted Haroon Rashid, President OICCI, as saying “without going into details of the legality of the tax demand, the manner in which officials of the LTU Islamabad acted in the matter, against one of the largest tax payers in the country is most disappointing as this blatant action is a huge setback for Government of Pakistan and OICCI’s joint efforts to attract FDI in the country. The chamber is a collective body of top 200 multinational companies in Pakistan.
Haroon Rashid said that FDI in Pakistan, at less than one per cent of GDP against the norm of 3pc, is the lowest in the region.
“Abrupt and unjustified action like this will go against the declared emphasis of the senior leadership of the government towards the Ease of Doing Business and facilitating large inflow of FDI, for harnessing the massive economic growth opportunities, promote export and employment, he added.
Telecom offices de-sealed as High Court stays recovery action
“The sealing of the premises of the largest mobile operator, is bound to create ripples within the foreign investors’ community operating in Pakistan, and may negatively resonate in the business chambers of 35 countries from where OICCI member companies have come to do business in Pakistan” the statement said.
Meanwhile the Deputy Commissioner Inland Revenue issued orders on Thursday to de-seal the offices of Jazz in compliance with an order from the Islamabad High Court which stayed the recovery action mounted by the tax authorities.
Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020