Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Narcotics Control was told that data analysis of Telenor shows that no Withholding Tax was deducted from FATA and PATA which amounts to a tax evasion of Rs 267 million in just three months only from those areas.
The Committee members and member FBR agreed that this is not possible for a telecomm company to deduct withholding tax from one area and not from some other area as the same recharge cards are available across the country.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwala at the Parliament House on Friday and was attended among others by Senators Murtaza Wahab, Nasreen Jalil, Kamil Ali Agha, Mohsin Aziz, Mohsin Leghari and officials from Finance Division and FBR.
The Committee was told that audit of other telecom companies will also begin shortly as they have now submitted their transaction data. After audit of Withholding Taxes, the same for sales tax will be conducted.
Members of the Committee asked for strict penalties and fines against the tax evading telecom companies.
The Committee also passed “The Auditor General’s (Functions, Powers and Terms and Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Bill, 2017” with amendments.
Among other amendments, it was also specified that the Auditor General shall be a Grade 22 officer serving in the department for at least 15 years without deputation.
The meeting was also given update on anomaly of withholding tax deducted on bonus share issued in respect of mutual funds, rules made under Benami Act, 2017, separation of cadres of Accounts and Audit, appointment of Independent officer for audit of AGP and draft bill in respect of Federal Consolidated Fund and Public Account.
The Committee demanded progress reports on the matters by January 15.
The public petition regarding merger of house rent into salary of government servants instead of following the current process of hiring was disposed off and referred to Housing and Works for consultation with Finance Division.