ISLAMABAD -  The Senate Standing Committee on Finance has expressed displeasure for not conducting tax audit of telecom companies working in Pakistan, as they are taking million of rupees taxes from the consumers.

The committee, which met under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, has also expressed concerns over the collection method of withholding tax from telecom companies. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed the committee that they need three months time for auditing withholding tax of the telecom companies. FBR Member Khawaja Tanveer said that three out of four companies had already submitted their data while Zong would send its data within a couple of days. The committee decided to call officials of the provinces in next meeting to discuss the issue.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) briefed the committee on illegal Modarba companies. The committee was informed that 29 groups were involved in the scam of Rs22 billion. As many as 31,477 people were looted by these illegal Modarba companies. The NAB had arrested 45 people involved in the scam. The NAB had recovered Rs8 billion and returned to the affectees. Most of the cases were related to twin cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi.

The committee also discussed the financial fraud related to Abandoned Properties Organisation (APO) amounted to Rs1.925 billion. It was informed that officials from APO, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Habib Bank were involved in the scam. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed the committee that eight officials were arrested in this fraud, out of which 7 were on bail while one was in jail.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) informed the committee that it would complete its investigation into alleged corruption of $17.5 million in the Multan Metro Bus project by December end. The committee was informed that China had already completed its investigation in the case; however, enforcement to this effect was still awaiting.