ISLAMABAD: Terming the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) raid just an act of arm-twisting, the National Testing Service-Pakistan (NTS) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sherzada Khan said that they have moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the FBR for conducting a raid on the NTS’ premises.
Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, he said that the FBR officials illegally raided the NTS, hence they filed an application against FBR in the IHC because no prior intimation and warning had been given to the high-ups of the authority in this regard.
He made it clear that the FBR should have raided the NTS had they not cooperated with it. He said that they were ready to pay income tax according to the law of the land, but no extra taxes should be levied on NTS.
“There were five cases of NTS pending with FBR for which decision of two cases had already been delivered in favour of NTS,” he said. He added that the service is known for its transparency and credibility which is why all major investigating agencies were conducting tests through NTS, which spoke volumes of its fairness and transparency.
Sherzada Khan, however, accepted that there is always room for improvement, since they are human beings and could commit mistakes, so any flaws needed to be brought into their notice so that instant action could be taken to rectify them. He advised that the blame game against NTS by selected groups of testing services should be stopped, though he always welcomed constructive criticism.
He clarified to the FBR that its Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (Inland Revenue) had proceeded to seize records of the company related to tax matters only. However, inadvertently, some other records and a few personal computers, not pertaining to tax matters, had also been erroneously seized, he added.
The CEO said that he followed the FBR team to their office and explained the position to the concerned authorities to their satisfaction, assuring the tax authorities that being a responsible corporate entity, NTS would ensure payment of all due tax claims as per the requirements of the law.
He refuted that any of the directors of NTS had been taken into custody, adding that all office bearers of NTS and its employees were free to go and carry on with their daily business.
Answering a question, Sherzada said that some of the influential people of Sindh, who were known for recruiting and adjusting their relatives in medical colleges, were making a hue and cry to defame NTS because it hurt their personal interests.
He also said that they were ready to cooperate with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) because their aim was to ensure 100 per cent transparency in NTS.
The CEO, however, advised the media to verify the news as baseless rumours were circulating in the electronic media that NAB conducted a raid on its premises and that directors of NTS had been taken into custody.
It was widely reported yesterday that the NAB raided the NTS headquarters and took over a dozen computers in custody, while briefly detaining its CEO and three other staff members.