STAFF REPORT IBD: FBR Chairman Mumtaz Haider Rizvi was recently interrogated for over two hours at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) headquarters and was allowed to leave the premises only after he agreed not to issue a notification to write off the Rs47 billion on outstanding taxes for five cellular service providers of the country.

According to the Bureaus media wing, Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, the Rs27 billion includes a principal amount of Rs26 billion owed by five cellular service providers since 2007. FBR tax auditors had pointed out the discrepancy in 2010.

“The FBR chairman tried to convince FBR officials that the waiver is in line with the law and said he intended to grant it the very next day. However, he had to retreat once he was confronted with relevant evidence and supporting documents,” Siddiqa said.

Siddiqa accused Rizvi of giving false statements and said he did indeed meet NABs chairman Admiral (Retd) Fasih Bokhri.

She added that Rizvi had initially refused to appear but agreed after the bureau threatened to issue an arrest warrant against him.

The cellular companies in question had first approached the office of the Commissioner Inland Revenue (CIR), which asked the companies to pay the tax. Following this, they went to the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue (ATIR) which upheld the CIRs decision and directed the cellular service providers to deposit the tax.

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