Islamabad (by Raja Ibrar )Income Tax officials on Thursday held discussion with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) authorities having called upon the latter at the Gaddafi Stadium to settle the issue of recovering heavy amount of income tax from opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez
The PCB, most of its employees and almost all the players usually remain in the glare of the Income Tax authorities, for it is the lone richest sports body in the country.
Interestingly, the cricket governing body paid Rs500 million last year as tax but the federal government has earmarked a modest amount of Rs950 million for sports in the proposed national budget for fiscal year 2015-16 meaning more than half of the national sports budget is being paid by the PCB but the government is not interested in making heavy investment in the game of cricket.
It must be kept in mind that the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department had also sealed the Gaddafi Stadium after it won a legal case in connection with recovering tax dues from the PCB.
Just one day after the Lahore High Court announced its verdict in favour of the Excise and Taxation Department, a dozen of officials reached the Gaddafi Stadium on May 1 to seal the stadium wherein the PCB was busy making arrangements for holding the series against Zimbabwe.
However, the stadium was unsealed the same day after the PCB asked for a few days to pay the dues
Well-informed sources told Dawn that the Income Tax authorities informed chief operating officer of the PCB Subhan Ahmad that Hafeez owed around Rs4 million to the tax department, since the opening batsman has not been able to pay his income tax regularly.
The PCB has assured the authorities its full cooperation and may consider an option whether the Board can deduct some amount from Hafeez’ future income to pay it to the Income Tax department to settle the issue.
On the other hand, Hafeez on receipt of notice from the Income Tax department denied that he was a tax defaulter but sources said the authorities showed the opening batsman a full record of his tax recovery details according to which he is a tax defaulter of millions.