The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has attached bank accounts of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for recovery of an estimated Rs2.2 billion amount that was collected from passengers on behalf of the tax authority but not paid to the exchequer, sources said earlier today.
They said that the accounts of PIA had been frozen since Friday (November 6) depriving the national flag carrier from making any transactions.
The sources said that the recovery was pending for the last many months as the outstanding amount accumulated to Rs2.2 billion as the federal excise duty (FED) for the months March-June 2015.
The prolong attachment of the account was due to repeated assurance by PIA in making payment but all resulted in failure.The previous notices sent to PIA by Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) Karachi had asked the airline to refrain from utilizing the collected amount for other purposes with the warning that such act would tantamount to committing an offence.
The bank accounts have been attached as in September 2015, the LTU Karachi issued a show-cause notice to PIA stating that the airline had collected FED from passengers in respect of international air travel for the periods March, April and May 2015 which was required to be deposited on July 15, August 15 and September 15, respectively, as per the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet through a letter issued on July 17, 2013.
The LTU Karachi also issued an arrest warning to senior officials of PIA in September for violating clear instructions of the ECC.The sources said that the PIA chairman and the FBR chairman discussed the issue on Tuesday, and the airline was likely to issue post-dated cheque for the payment in order to detach the bank accounts.