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FBR serves show cause notice on SSGCL MD

By Imdad Soomro
April 01, 2023

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has served a show cause notice on Imran Maniar, Managing Director of Sui-Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), for not declaring foreign assets in his wealth statement and not paying capital value tax for them.

According to official documents, copies of which are available with The News, Ejaz Ahmed, Additional Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Range-1, Zone-II of FBR, Karachi, served a show cause notice to the MD SSGCL Imran Maniar for not declaring properties in the US in his tax returns and subsequently not paying wealth tax and asked him to submit a reply.

The FBR authorities found that the SSGCL MD owned as many as 12 assets in Houston, Texas, worth Rs625.999 million. The show cause notice cited details of those foreign properties.

According to the show cause notice, Maniar was required to pay one percent capital value tax on the foreign assets determined under section 8(3)(c) of the Finance Act. It goes on to allege that the SSGCL MD acquired these properties from undeclared sources, therefore, his Rs626.999 million income escaped assessment.

He was asked to explain as to why the amount of capital value tax shall not be recovered in terms of subsection 2(b) and 7 of section 8 of the Finance Act 2022 read with rule 6(2) of SRO 1797 (1)/2022.

The FBR directed the officer to submit an explanation along with supporting evidence and was warned of action and charges being framed ex parte besides further legal punitive actions if he evades a response.

Meanwhile, FBR and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also initiated an inquiry against MD Maniar for alleged forgery and tampering in the official service record of some officers of SSGCL by misusing their official position.

The FIA Karachi’s Corporate Crime Circle initiated an inquiry against the management of SSGCL, including of Chairperson of SSGCL Board, MD Maniar, and other senior officers for alleged forgery and tampering in Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) and Performance Appraisal Forms (PAFs) of some officers and directed them to furnish service record of officers, Human Resources manual, standard operating procedures and prevailing rules and regulations.

The FIA took the action after some SSGCL officers sought action against the company’s top management, including MD Maniar, for tampering with their service records to harm them. The SSGCL management has assured the FIA of submission of the record by April 3, 2023.

This reporter approached MD SSGCL Imran Maniar and spokesman of SSGCL Safdar Khonharo for an official version of the issue, called them many times and then sent them detailed messages but both avoided responding till the filing of the news story. Sources close to the MD, however, rejected the allegations against him, saying he will effectively defend his position.