Jazz condemns sealing of its office by FBR

'While govt is making efforts to improve business environment in the country, such drastic measures will unfortunately severely affect investment prospects'

Jazz, one of Pakistan’s largest internet and broadband service providers, has condemned the sealing of its Islamabad premises by the Federal Board of Revenue, saying that the step would shake the confidence of the company’s investors.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Jazz Spokesperson said, “We received a notice from FBR yesterday for the recovery of a disputed tax demand and we have serious reservations on these alleged taxes. The proceedings were carried out on plea of a tax recovery notice for a disputed amount from 2018 which is under legal proceedings. Due to the drastic measures, our corporate reputation and pride has been hurt while confidence of foreign investors of Jazz and others has been shaken. Despite being the largest taxpayers, we are treated in an unfortunate way. While the government is making efforts to improve the business environment in the country, such drastic measures would unfortunately severely affect investment prospects.”

According to the statement, Jazz is among the largest taxpayers and the biggest foreign investors with an investment of over $9.5 billion during the last 25 years. In the last six years alone, Jazz has contributed over Rs251 billion to the national exchequer in the form of taxes and duties.

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Jazz has always been a law-abiding corporate citizen and has been in the forefront for contributing to Pakistan’s economy in monetary and development terms, and as the market leader in telecom and internet services with over 63 million customers. The company has also discharged its social responsibility in floods, earthquakes, and recently in Covid-19 relief response worth over Rs1.2 billion.

“Jazz seeks resolution of the matter and has always been willing to conduct dialogue as well as rightful legal course to reach merit and right interpretation. Jazz also assures its valued customers that despite the challenges, we will continue to provide uninterrupted services,” the statement read.

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  1. These 3 pleas are all debatable.
    .Taxes paid as withholding … lag between collection & deposit needs to be investigated. No surprise if previous govs had allowed ( legally & illegally) a free hand to delay & use such funds before depositing .These amounts are no favour to gov.
    . Income Tax … if was significant part of total taxes deposited, would have been part of their statement. Even otherwise, this also is no favour, as it would be a tiny part of the Net Profit they would have earned from ‘serving’ us.
    . Social Responsibility … great.But note it is part of the profit they earned & & & the marketing mileage they attempted to gain. Dare say … could be treated as amarketing strategy.

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