CHAKWAL: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) raided the office of a private company owned by Sheikh Waqar Ali and his close relatives and confiscated records and computers from the premises.
Sheikh Waqar is an active leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s Chakwal chapter.
Pehlwan Private Limited, which owns the famous rewri of Chakwal “Pehlwan Rewri”, also has its office in Abu Dhabi.
Sources in the FBR told Dawn that the raid was conducted on intelligence-based information.
“We started gathering information about Pehlwan Private Limited two months ago. We came to know that there was a huge difference between the declared and actual income of the company,” a senior official of the FBR told Dawn.
“We have solid information that the company is involved in tax evasion of millions of rupees. We have started extracting more information through the confiscated record.” He said 19 different accounts of the company had been detected during the preliminary investigation.
“According to the law, a registered company has to pay 35pc income tax and 17pc sales tax. If the tax evasion is proved, the evader would have to pay a 35pc fine along with the income and sale taxes,” the official explained.
On the other hand, Sheikh Waqar and PTI’s local chapter termed the raid a political victimisation. The PTI also passed a resolution in which it claimed that the raid was conducted to thwart the August 7 rally which the party was planning to hold against the government throughout the country.
But rubbishing the claim of Sheikh Waqar and his party, a senior official of the FBR said they did not work under any political influence.
“The intelligence and investigation wing of the FBR conducts raids across the country irrespective of any political association.” He said recently a cement factory in Wah was caught evading tax amounting to Rs 370 million.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2016