FBR freezes Telenor Pakistan’s bank accounts in recovery action, company files for stay

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has frozen the bank accounts of Telenor Pakistan, alleging income tax default amounting to approximately Rs3.5 billion.

Telenor tells Profit that the FBR’s action is under challenge at the Islamabad High Court and they cannot comment since the matter is subjudice. The company is in court to obtain a stay that is expected within a day or two. 

Actions such as these by the FBR are not uncommon against the Telecom companies and in almost all cases their efforts are either stayed or overturned by the courts.

But FBR sources claimed all internal appellate fora as well as Islamabad High Court has dismissed the appeals of Telenor and directed the company to pay the government dues. 

The action has been taken by the Enforcement Zone of the Large Taxpayers’ Office Islamabad which initiated the recovery proceedings and attached the bank accounts of Telenor in all major banks in the country.

Additionally, FBR has also issued notices to various other third parties which are holding money or other assets on behalf of or payable to Telenor. 

Following the attachment orders, FBR sources say they are considering further follow up actions such as sending notices to all franchises of Telenor across the country for direct recovery of amounts payable by them in favor of Telenor, and maybe even writing to the company’s head office in Norway to seek enforcement through the International Taxes Wing and freezing and liquidating financial assets of the company such as its investments in mutual funds, treasury bills, investment bonds, Sukuks and TDRs, and pursuing its fixed and moving assets like property and its vehicular fleet through the Excise and Taxation department.

None of these actions have been initiated at the moment though. 

Telenor Pakistan Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Kamal Ahmed on a query of this scribe said that as a law-abiding and ethical corporate citizen, Telenor Pakistan takes a very responsible approach in discharging its due tax obligations in a timely manner; and “we take immense pride in our position as one of the leading contributors to the national exchequer.”

“We recently received a notice from the Federal Board of Revenue for the recovery of a disputed tax demand adding that we have reservations on these alleged tax demands and have challenged the notice and appealed the order within the hierarchy of Islamabad High Court, ” he claimed.

“Since the matter is currently sub judice, we cannot comment any further on this” he added.

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  1. FBR is notorious for blackmailing taxpayers by attaching/blocking bank accounts. It is prudent to avoid Pakistani banking system as and where possible since it is not safe due to such tactics by FBR.

  2. Well done FBR. Telenor is the most notorious company in Pakistan. I am one of the victims. I got loan from Telenor Bank, never went into default but even then the branch auctioned the Gold without my notice at cheaper rate than the market rate incurring a loss of lacs of rupees to me. Now , my lawyer has served fourth legal notice to them but no reply from Telenor.

  3. Telenor tells Profit that the FBR’s action is under challenge at the Islamabad High Court and they cannot comment since the matter is subjudice. The company is in court to obtain a stay that is expected within a day or two.

  4. Aur Aghar koi Pakistani organization norway mein tax chori karti toh hamareh log Govt koh burha bhala kehteh aur abhee yeh kehrahey hai keh foriegn investor sub bhagjaeenghey karneh doh inneh chori…kesey doghley Pakistani ho tum log

  5. Very bad network and such a cunning company, telenor deduct balance on daily basis without any info about packages, a huge fraud haramkhor company

  6. News for all Pakistani before we think this Sim card completely finished when Norway start abusing to our prophet Mohammed PBUH.
    So we leave this network a long time ago better to be closed 🔐 this network forever thank you for offering sim card …

    Bye Bye Telenor

  7. FBR not willing to pass appeal-effect orders as the Appellate Tribunal has allowed relied to Company, and insisting for payment of tax demand which would be nullified if appeal-effect orders are passed.


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