ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: The Federal Revenue Council (FBR) special audit team has made tax requests of around Rs469 billion against 81 sugar factories, some of which are directly owned or jointly owned by politicians.
FBR initiated an investigation into the alleged irregularities of 89 state sugar mills indicated by the Sugar Demand Commission (SIC) in 2020. “We have imposed a tax of Rs404 billion on 61 sugar mills as of February 28 this year. Our audit team has made a tax estimate of Rs65. billion against 20 sugar units whose cases are still pending in a different court, “a senior official told The News on Wednesday.
The official said the FBR special team, in conducting a forensic audit of sugar mills for months, issued notifications totaling Rs404.2 billion to 61 sugar mills in the past two months. Based on SIC’s recommendation, the regional tax office FBR began conducting a joint audit of last year’s sugar factory income tax and sales tax.
The FBR audit team, after evaluating the records of JDW Sugar Mills, Ltd. and five other sugar mills from 2015 to 2019, owned by PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, have created around Rs7 billion in tax requests, a senior FBR official said on condition of anonymity. . “There has been no notification of tax requests at these factories. This number could increase even after the audit team’s process is complete,” the official said.
FBR also assessed the record for RYK Group Of Sugar Mills, owned by the Makhdoom family Khusro Bakhtiar, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht and Makhdoom Omar Shehryar, from 2015 to 2019, in which officials made requests for taxes of Rs9 billion against the group, said another FBR official who related to the audit team. The notification of prosecution has not been issued as the problem is the sub-judge.
The FBR audit team also generated a tax request of Rs8 billion against the Chaudhry Sugar Factory and the Ramazan Sugar Factory, which belong to the Sharif family, the official said. In May 2020, SIC submitted its final report to the prime minister recommending, “The FBR can conduct comprehensive tax audits for all sugar mills over the past five years.”
The FBR team generated tax requests of Rs25 billion for Fatima Sugar Mills Ltd, Rs18 billion for Ashraf Sugar Mills Ltd, Rs6 billion for Abdullah Sugar Mills Ltd, Rs4 billion for Huda Sugar Mills Ltd, Rs7 billion for Kashmir Sugar Mills Ltd, Rs3 billion for Rasool Nawaz Sugar Mills, Rs4 billion against Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills, Rs5 billion against Ittefaq Sugar Mills, Rs7 billion against Pattoki Sugar Mills, Rs2 billion against Thal Industries Ltd, Rs4 billion against Noon Sugar Mills, Rs3.6 billion against Al-Moiz Sugar Mills , Rs1.4 billion against Indus Sugar Mills, Rs2 billion against Shakargarh Sugar Mills, Rs470 million against SGM Sugar Mills Ltd, Rs147 million against Husein Sugar Mills, Rs29 million against TMK Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, and a tax of Rs3 million against Vanguard Sugar Mills, according to official documents.
The FBR audit team has not found any tax liability against Consolidated Sugar Mills Ltd, Ghotki Sugar Mills, Noori Sugar Factory, Southern Sugar Mills, Sindhri Sugar Mills, Najma Sugar Mills, Pirjo Goth Sugar Mills and SJ Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd.
After the commission’s report, the FBR and FIA special team began an investigation into the sugar factory that was allegedly involved in selling sugar and buying sugar cane “out of the book” and evading taxes. The FBR and FIA teams were bound to submit their reports in October 2020 but both institutions despite having passed six months, failed to submit their final reports. Officially, FBR and FIA told this correspondent that the mill went to court and “they are awaiting a final court order on this ongoing process.”
Pakistani Sugar Factory Association President Iskander M Khan said, “(FBR team) is only playing in the gallery. (This is) a fake (tax) notice and (FBR) is misleading Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
Jahangir Khan Tareen told this correspondent that “no tax requests have been made against his factory in the audit process as of this date.” We cooperate fully by providing all the details required by FBR, “he said.
Jahangir Tareen said, “The power of the commissioner to select audits under Section 177 of the Act and 25 of the Ordinance (as applicable) is the discretion in his possession, to be exercised in accordance with the laws and decisions of the higher courts and not at the direction of the FBR or the federal government. The commissioner has failed to meet some or all of the requirements stated above. “The commissioner’s actions / omissions have been challenged at LHC by a number of sugar mills, including the mine,” he said.
The LHC is pleased to provide temporary relief in these and related cases as far back as October 2020 by keeping the commissioner from issuing any final orders in this trial. Responses from other sugar factories are eagerly awaited until the submission of this story.
On the other hand, the FIA has formed 20 teams to expel the sugar mafia because it will take firm action against the profiteers and money launderers who are involved in the scarcity of artificially unlawful sugar along with the price increase.
According to sources at the FIA, the investigation will be carried out by the FIA Director Lahore while the decision to launch the case and arrest is also made. A massive crackdown will be launched under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
It is known that the FIA has discovered massive financial fraud in the form of money laundering by the sugar mafia. The price of sugar is deliberately increased through artificial scarcity and gambling (satta) on the price of sugar. The sugar factory price was raised from 70 to 90 rupees in just one year through artificial means, the sources added.
Investigations carried out by the FIA further revealed that the sugar mafia made up Rp110 billion in the past year through the price of sugar. Sources claim that hundreds of fake accounts were created to hide money obtained through illegal means. All major sugar groups including the Tareen Group, Sharif Group, Alliance Group, Hamza Group and Thal Group are suspected of supporting gamblers, further investigations come to light. The FIA gathered solid evidence from 32 cell phones and laptops. The FIA will take firm action against the mafia as the mafia suspects are once again trying to artificially raise sugar prices during Ramadan when demand increases.