RAWALPINDI: The Fed­eral Board of Revenue (FBR) on Thursday unbl­ocked the bank accounts of Pakistan International Airlines after the issue of non-payment of outstanding dues was settled.

The FBR had blocked PIA’s bank accounts over non-payment at a time when the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) team was visiting Pakistan for a safety audit, raising hopes that a ban imposed on PIA flights to Europe may be lifted.

The FBR withdrew its orders to freeze the PIA’s bank accounts on Thursday after the PIA management assured the tax authorities of clearing all outstanding dues.

Additionally, Pakistan State Oil had threatened to stop the airline’s oil supply if outstanding dues were not settled.

In a notification, the FBR’s deputy commissioner for Inland Revenue said: “This office has been directed to withdraw the notice mentioned above and to de-attach the bank acco­unts of the subject taxpayer with immediate effect.”

However, the board highlighted that the said de-attachment did not bar the department from pursuing “recovery proceedings” under Section 14(3) of the Federal Excise Act, 2005. The law pertains to the recovery of “unpaid duty or of erroneously refunded duty or arrears of duty”.

A PIA spokesman Abdu­llah Khan confirmed to Dawn that the FBR has ordered the unfreezing of the airline’s accounts across the country.

He added that the nati­onal carrier and FBR’s Large Tax Unit were in constant contact to resolve the issue.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2023

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