FBR overlooks tax case against Grand Hyatt allottees

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ISLAMABAD: The high ups of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have overlooked a tax case against the buyers of Grand Hyatt apartments, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.

The tax department did not take further action as the buyers of the flats belong to powerful factions of the society.

Source told that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, former State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Mohammad Ashraf Wathra, former Pemra chairman Absar Alam, former chief justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk, former Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice Iftikhar Hussain Chaudhry, Minister Jam Kamal Khan, former naval chief Mohammad Asif Sandila, former foreign secretary Salman Bashir, retired army officer Ahsan Azhar Hayat, television celebrity Faryal Gauhar, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani, former defence minister Ahmed Mukhtar, son of the incumbent foreign minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif, politician Kashmala Tariq, former chief land commissioner Sajid Hotiana are among the two hundred and forty people who purchased flats in Grand Hyatt.

Officials of tax department told that when the Grand Hyatt matter surfaced in media, the Faisalabad regional tax office chief commissioner had sought the details from BNP (Private) limited as the company was executing this project.

It was disclosed that the company had sold flats to around 240 to 250 people ranging from Rs20 million to Rs30 million. Whereas the company in its receipts disclosed income ranging between Rs120 to Rs130 million, the officials disclosed.

The tax office of Faisalabad after analysing the documents sent notices to approximately 240 apartment owners.

The office wanted to ascertain the source of income of purchasers. However, the high ups sitting in Islamabad instructed Faisalabad office to transfer this case to Islamabad.

On the other hand, the Islamabad office did not work on the case despite the passage of two years.

Officers told that the tax office is already struggling hard to meet its current fiscal year target and the department can get huge money from these people.

The spokesperson of FBR said that the FBR field office is looking into this matter and has sought the report on this issue from the concerned office.

It is pertinent to mention here that The Capital Development Authority (CDA) board in 2016 cancelled the lease of a piece of land for the under-construction Grand Hyatt and high-rise apartments.

The company challenged the CDA board decision in Islamabad High Court (IHC) however the court gave the decision in favour of the civic agency.

In addition to this, the affected buyers had also filed 22 appeals in Supreme Court (SC) against the order of the IHC single-member bench.

The CDA had also referred the matter to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the direction of Public Accounts Committee related to the rescheduling and slow recovery of the amount.

FIA had registered a formal FIR against former Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Kamran Lashari and members of the CDA board in the Grand Hyatt case under sections 409, 419, 420, 468, 471, 201, 109 of PPC read with 5(2) 47 of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1947.

Earlier in December, the interior ministry had placed 12 prime accused, including two retired senior military officers and a former CDA chairman, on Exit Control List (ECL).