Islamabad: EIGHTEEN is the project of Elite Estates Private Limited (EEPL). Majority shareholding (80%) in EEPL is owned by one of the world’s leading development entrepreneurs, Mr. Naguib Sawiris. Being a project of renowned international real estate developers, EIGHTEEN follows all the applicable laws, rules and regulations. EIGHTEEN is an active and responsible taxpayer and diligently pays all applicable taxes, whether federal, provincial, or local, and is committed to full compliance in term of taxes.
In 2019, the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) approached EIGHTEEN for analysis and scrutiny of its tax documents. At EIGHTEEN , we maintain an open and transparent relationship with the tax authorities and therefore, we fully cooperated with PRA’s audits and inquiries, providing all necessary documentation to support our tax compliance. PRA accordingly gave its clearance to EIGHTEEN’s tax submissions to the PRA until 30 June 2021. Even after that, EIGHTEEN has continued to deposit all taxes, whether to the FBR, the PRA, or other tax authorities.
On 7 November 2023, PRA’s officials came to EIGHTEEN’s offices, without any prior notice and on the next day, issued a Show Cause Notice to EIGHTEEN alleging that EIGHTEEN had not paid certain taxes to the PRA. Even though the said Show Cause Notice gave EIGHTEEN until 22 November 2023 to reply to the allegations, the notice was leaked on the same day to various media outlets along with allegations from the PRA that EIGHTEEN is involved in tax evasion.
We believe that these allegations of tax evasion are unfounded and not even based on PRA’s own records. Our team has conducted a thorough internal review, and we are confident that we have adhered to all applicable tax laws and regulations.
EIGHTEEN is a responsible organization and is always open to oversight by the revelent regulatory bodies, including PRA. However, the manner in which the PRA leaked the show cause notice and made statements in the media is wrong. This can prejudice the outcome of any proceedings and such heavy handed tactics and scaremongering will not only discourage foreign investors from coming in Pakistan but will also create distrust among stakeholders in and outside of Pakistan.
EIGHTEEN is bringing huge investment into the country to help the economy grow while doing business but such unreasonable conduct from authorities like PRA can hurt future investments in Pakistan. We believe in ethical and responsible business practices and will approach all the relevant forums for redressal of our grievances and to rectify the damage done to our business and reputation by PRA’s actions.
We believe in the importance of maintaining trust and credibility in the business community, and we are fully committed to addressing any concerns that the government authorities, including PRA may have. If there are specific issues or questions regarding our financial practices, we are ready to engage with any government authority to clarify the matter and to comply with any legal requirements, however releasing stories and notices in the media, without concrete evidence, and before conclusion of any proceedings, can cause serious damage to the business and investment environment of Pakistan.