Pakistan’s 2nd national flag carrier airline Shaheen Air International (SAI) has got itself into trouble after Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) took an extreme step against SAI and sealed its Head Office on defaulting on tax payments. After providing cheques of the taxed amount, the FBR unsealed the offices.
FBR’s Large Tax Payers Unit’s (LTU) Deputy Commissioner Inland revenue, Farva Abid, sent a recovery notice to the Principle office of SAI on June 20th 2018. In this notice, FBR stated that SAI has failed to pay the Federal Excise Duty (FED) for the month of April 2018, worth Rs. 497,267,500. If the airline fails to pay said amount on June 21st 2018 until 2 pm, FBR will take action against SAI.
Sources in the FBR told that after the deadline ended, a team under the leadership of Deputy Commissioner Nasir Barki reached SAI head office located at the airport to seal it. FBR officials asked the staff to leave the premises and do not interfere in legal and state action.
“At about 6 pm FBR team sealed the SAI head office. Some SAI staff and security personal tried to stop FBR staff but were stopped by law enforcement agencies accompanying the FBR team.” the source added.
During this, negotiations were under way between the management of SAI and FBR officials. After the office got sealed, SAI produced 2 bank cheques of worth Rs. 910 million in favor of FBR. On this development, FBR unsealed the SAI head office.
SAI head office is also the nerve control for their airline operations. All flight and other workings are monitored from the flight operations room at the head office. Sealing this office meant that SAI operations would stop and no Shaheen aircraft would be able to fly.
Spokesperson SAI, Zohaib Hassan, denied any FBR action against the airline at first, but he later accepted that FBR indeed sealed the office. He blamed Eid holidays for the late payment of taxes.
SAI is facing a hard time nowadays. The airline has several regulatory and financial disputes with CAA, and the authority took many actions against SAI. Now the FED payment issue also added up to the problems faced by 2nd national flag carrier.
The tax issue between Shaheen Air International (SAI) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was resolved after a detailed discussion between the two organizations. This was stated by Zohaib Hassan, Director Marketing, SAI while speaking to media after the meeting with FBR.
Zohaib Hassan, Director Marketing, SAI said
The fiscal year is coming to an end due to which there was pressure on us to get the tax dues cleared. The payment was delayed 1 and a half months and initially we tried to submit our cheques to clear the payments but somehow FBR was reluctant to accept the offer. But after detailed negotiations, the FBR has accepted Shaheen’s request. This matter was prolonged due to Eid holidays. We would like to reiterate that Shaheen Air International is a law abiding corporate entity and is aware of our duties and responsibilities. Our regular operations are on and flight schedule is as per normal.
Here’s the notice served to Shaheen Air International by the FBR.