Tuesday Feb 16, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Businessman Javed Afridi has indirectly accused the movers and shakers of the country’s automobile industry of launching a smear campaign after it was reported that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was investigating the declared import value of completely built-up (CBU) units of Morris Garages (MG) vehicles imported in the country by his new venture.
“For decades, Pakistani automobile consumers have been exploited by cartels that cornered them with low quality, boring models at exorbitant prices. Plus, buyers had to pay billions of rupees to get delivery of the very vehicles the price of which they had already paid,” said Afridi, who recently brought the MG brand to the country, on Twitter.
“As new entrants bring in exciting new models at far lower prices, instead of competition, we expect maligning campaigns and baseless rumours. While we know that competition is an unfamiliar phenomenon in Pakistan’s automobile industry, we invite everyone to join in a fair competition to serve Pakistani consumers with a bigger and better variety of vehicles at lower prices,” he added.
Javed Afridi’s statement came after a local daily reported that the country’s top tax authority, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), was investigating the KP-based businessman's new venture for allegedly under-invoicing the imported vehicles to evade taxes.
According to media reports, the company imported over 500 completely built-up (CBU) units from Shanghai, China. The cars were predominantly of the MG GS model, the highest specification model.
The report said that Afridi’s company declared the customs value of each vehicle at $11,632 which may have been too low, as in other countries the same model is being sold for over $27,000.
“The under-invoicing evidence has also been shared with other line ministries and agencies for a thorough probe, as this is inflicting billions of rupees financial loss the national exchequer,” the report said.
With over 400 CBU units already imported, the company was accused in the report of evading over Rs1 billion in duty and taxes so far.