Sindh govt orders K-Electric to pay Rs61.28m stamp duty fee

KARACHI: In an effort to recover the outstanding dues from different organisations, the Sindh government has ordered K-Electric Limited to pay at least Rs61.28 million under the head of stamp duty.

Moreover, a penalty of Rs30.64 million has also been imposed on the power utility for hiding the details of the paid stamp duty.

According to sources privy to this development, a government inspection team, led by Assistant Chief Inspector Syed lzhar Ali Shah, on 3rd Oct 2018, was authorised to conduct an inspection on the record of K-Electric.

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The inspection team repeatedly visited the company office situated in DHA Karachi but could only recover partial record.

The team had pointed out an evasion/deficit of stamp duty on the partial record provided by the company, including instrument contract agreement (11 agreements pertaining to the period from December 2015 to February 2018), civil contracts (14 contracts pertaining to the period from October 2015 to September 2018) and 4th Sukuk issue of Rs22 million in June 2015 for seven years, making the total deficit stamp duty at Rs61.28 million.

According to sources, on 30th April 2019, K-Electric Deputy Director (Legal Affairs) Syed Irfan Ali Shah and Assistant Manager (Public & Government Affairs) Bilal Ahmed Malik appeared on behalf of the company and requested 15 days’ time for submission of entire record for inspection. However, only partial record was provided while no explanation was given on the remaining record.

After this, a second hearing order was issued on 8th Aug 2019 to the company. On 23rd Aug, Shaheer Roshan, Advocate of Fazaleghani, the legal consultant of K-Electric, requested the government to adjourn the hearing till 29th August 2019, which was allowed.

On 29th Aug, Shaheer Roshan committed to providing the said record on 17th Sept 2019, but again, no record was furnished.

It has been observed that since Oct 2018, the K-Electric has been employing delaying tactics to perpetuate the evasion of stamp duty. The company is not cooperating in the inspection process.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Board of Revenue Chief Inspector of Stamps Ghulam Abbas Naich said that the K-Electric CEO has again been requested to provide remaining record of instruments chargeable with stamp duty under the Stamp Act, 1899.

“Failure to provide the record shall be deemed an obstruction and concealment within the meaning of Section 73 of the Act ibid and action shall be taken accordingly,” Ghulam Abbas Naich added.

Upon contact, K-Electric’s spokesperson maintained that the company is law-abiding and a responsible corporate entity which ensures compliance with all respective law.

“Regarding Sindh government’s order on the alleged shortfall in stamp duty payments, KE has already challenged the said order before the concerned appellate authority/court as per law,” the spokesperson added.

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Aftab Channa
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Karachi Bureau.
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