FBR Freezes PIA’s Accounts Over Non-Payment of Taxes

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has frozen 50 bank accounts of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) over non-payments of excise duty.

“PIA collected Rs. 4 billion in Federal Excise Duty on tickets but did not pay it to the FBR for two years,” FBR spokesman, Asad Tahir, told media, adding that Rs. 460 million have been recovered through frozen accounts of the airline.

He confirmed that the accounts will remain frozen until the PIA pays the remaining amount.

Commenting on the development, a PIA spokesperson said that the decision to freeze the accounts is an attempt to tarnish the image of the national airline.

The PIA spokesperson said that the federal cabinet had decided to freeze funds from 2016 to 2020 till the completion of the PIA reform process. The payment backlog is due to the cabinet’s decision.

“In 2021, the national airline paid Rs. 4.7 billion to the FBR despite the unfavorable conditions during the pandemic,” he said, adding that all 2021 arrears are being paid in January 2022 bill.

The PIA is a state entity, and the FBR’s step will undermine the flagship carrier’s international presence, the spokesman added.